Voting snag in Arizona fuels election conspiracy theories
A man walks in an anti-voter fraud demonstration in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, Feb. 18, 2018.
Shannon Stapleton, AP
PHOENIX — There are a lot of reasons not to vote in Arizona, and while some do not believe there is anything untoward about voters trying to cast ballots, others believe their efforts are being manipulated, causing them to miss key races.
Last week, a judge ruled the state’s current system for making registration decisions is unfair and must be changed. But Monday, a federal court judge in Phoenix struck down a recent voter ID law that allowed people to check off a box at the polls to say they are in fact citizens.
There was no voting in Arizona on Tuesday as a result. As a result, there was no election vote. Voters still have to sign in and cast a ballot and their votes will be counted, but, legally, there won’t be an election.
“Arizona’s voter ID law and the early voting law have created an atmosphere of fear and mistrust among eligible voters and those who are unenrolled,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit is asking a judge to temporarily block the law and allow the U.S. Justice Department and the state of Arizona to negotiate a settlement.
The lawsuit also alleges the Arizona Election Day system itself is flawed, and voter affidavits do not accurately reflect how someone actually votes.
“It was the most transparent election in the United States, until this happened,” said Chris Cate, a spokesman for the group Alliance for Voting Reform, which is behind the lawsuit.
After the lawsuit was filed, the state offered $100 million to settle with the voting groups. That money would go to a hotline, online complaint process and to support and counsel the thousands of voters impacted by the change, officials said.
Cate said he hopes the settlement can be reached by May 8.
He said the plaintiffs will seek to hold future elections in an “optimal” way, one that does not change the voting system.
Voters were allowed to use state-subsidized IDs that can only be used to vote in federal elections. The change was made a result of the voter ID law which voters passed in 2012 over the objections of Republicans who