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Updated Jul 30, 2012, 1:28 pm Originally posted Jul 30, 2012, 9:04 am
The deadline to register to vote in the August primary election is midnight on Monday.
The primary will pick candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the state Legislature and other races. While primary day is Aug. 28, early voting begins Aug. 2.
Despite a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that denied a request for a stay, Arizona officials are still requiring citizenship documentation from those registering for the first time, if they use a state registration form. The federal form—which state officials are required to accept—simply requires those registering to check a box attesting that they are citizens.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona's documentation requirement conflicted with federal voter registration law, but a difference of opinion over that ruling means state officials are still requiring proof to process the state forms.
An attorney who challenged Arizona's requirement called it an "outstanding issue" that's being reviewed by a U.S. District Court.
The appeals court ruling "certainly indicates that it meant to apply" to the state form, said Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.
The citzenship-proof requirement is "disenfranchising lots of people," Greenbaum said in an interview Monday.
"Over a three-year period, 31,000 people were rejected" over citizenship proof issues, he said.
Greenbaum said it's rare for for non-citizens to attempt to register to vote.
"Those are isolated situations," and those living here illegally don't want to attract government attention, with the possibility of prosecution and deportation, he said.
The case over requiring citizenship documentation to register to vote does not affect Arizona's requirement that voters show ID at the polls.
How to register
If you've moved, changed your name, or want to change political parties, you must complete a new voter registration form, said Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez.
You can register online in English and Spanish, or fill out a registration form and mail it to the Pima County Recorder's Office, postmarked no later than midnight Monday. Forms can also be hand-delivered by 5 p.m. Monday to the Recorder's Office at 115 N. Church Ave.
To register, you must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arizona and at least 18 years old at the time of the election.
If you have an Arizona drivers license issued after Oct. 1, 1996, that serves as proof of citizenship under state requirements. The federal form is available from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.