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Presentation on theme: "2012 NATIVE VOTE – ELECTION PROTECTION Patty Ferguson-Bohnee"— Presentation transcript:

1 2012 NATIVE VOTE – ELECTION PROTECTION Patty Ferguson-Bohnee
Indian Legal Clinic Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

2 ELECTION PROTECTION To help voters resolve ID Problems
Nonpartisan effort to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process Purpose To help voters resolve ID Problems Polling locations Registration Lists (purging) To collect data illustrating the obstacles voters face as they head to the polls

3 Importance & Need for Arizona Native Vote – Election Protection
Native American Voters Have Historically Been Disenfranchised at the polls Recent Attempts to Discourage and Prevent Native Voters and Candidates New Voter ID Laws Disparity in Conditional Provisional Ballots Protect Native Americans From Voter Intimidation and to Ensure Native Voting Rights

4 Arizona Model Formalized 2008: AIGA, ITCA, ILC
Relationship Development SOS/DOJ/Local County Recorders and County Attorneys Hotline Number to Tribes for Tribal Newspapers and Radio Stations NABA-AZ recruited attorneys – community service project Training

5 Arizona Model Volunteers are Attorneys, Students, and
Other Professional Competent People Volunteers will be stationed at Reservation Polling Places with Voter Rights information and phone numbers as Field Monitors Mobile Legal Volunteers will be assisting Field Monitors Volunteers/Students will be answering calls at the Legal Command Center at the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona main office in Phoenix Tribal attorneys will serve as on-call volunteers ready to answer specific legal questions and to respond to incidents


7 Hotline Volunteers First Line of Defense
Provide Voters with Critical Information Can Solve Vast Majority of Issues Reported by Voters Collect information for Qualitative and Quantitative Purposes Electronic Voting and Voter Machine Experts Experts on Issues Relating to Language Minority Voters Experts on All Other Voting Issues

8 Mobile Legal Volunteers—MLV
Attorneys and Other Professional Competent People Ready to be on call for Field Monitors and Hotline Workers with Specific Questions of Concern Teams of 2 People At least one attorney per team Assigned to cover 4-6 polling places Why are they important? Help voters at the polls Assist poll workers Gather information

9 Mobile Legal Volunteers - Field Monitors
Located at Specific Polling Locations Assist Native American Voters who have voting problem Offer information Contact Election Protection Hotline or MLV for assistance Take an Incident Report

10 Field Monitors at Gila River


12 Tribal In-House Counsel – On Call
Attorneys Situated on or near reservation Available to respond quickly to election issues if needed

13 Significant Election Issues
Voter Registration Early and Absentee Voting Residency Voter Identification Felony Disenfranchisement Voter Challenges, Voter Intimidation, and Deceptive Practices Assistance to Voters and Disability Access Provisional Voting Election Equipment and Ballots Other Polling-Place Issues Counting of Ballots, Audits, and Recounts

14 Results 2008: 15/21 tribal communities had coverage; 53 NV volunteers
2010: Metro Tribes, Camp Verde, and some of Navajo Covered Biggest Gap – Navajo Reservation

15 Results Hotline was used many places where not reservations
Problems: Reservation residents don’t have physical addresses but PO Boxes, go to polls and told not registered Registered, but not assigned to polling location Call us, verify voter registration On-scene volunteers – told not registered, could call county recorder and clarify, sometimes on inactive list Tribal Counsel in house very helpful in getting announcements made

16 Results Machines went down in several polling locations, not ballots offered Extended polling locations Announced on Radio Station Some not reported timely Some polls didn’t offer language translations under Section 203 Intimidation by Police Officers Guadalupe, Camp Verde 25 incidents/19 polling locations were reported by the small group.



19 Voter ID Laws – 2004 Early voters – no ID Regular – ID
Provisional Voters (check signature), Native American provisional Conditional Provisional (have to return with ID within 5 days)

20 Overview of Voter ID Law
Who must show ID – anyone voting at the polls on election day Who need not show ID Early voters (by mail or at early voting sites) On election day, voters dropping off completed early ballots at a polling place

21 Overview of Voter ID Law
Voter Identification ID must contain voter’s correct name and current address Voter must show one form of photo ID OR Two forms of non-photo ID

22 Overview of Voter ID Law
Photo Identification Forms of Acceptable ID – Photo ID with address (must show one form) Arizona driver’s license or non-operator’s license Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification (unaware of any ID that fits this definition)

23 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Forms of Acceptable ID – Non-Photo ID (must show two different forms) Utility bill dated within ninety days of the election (electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone or cable) Bank or credit union statement dated within ninety days of the election Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration Vehicle Insurance card Indian census card

24 Overview of Voter ID Laws
Voter Identification Forms of Acceptable ID – Non-Photo ID (must show two different forms) (continued) Property tax statement of the elector's residence Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification Recorder's Certificate Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the county recorder “Official Election Mail” (e.g., sample ballot, polling place locator)

25 Tribal Identification (non-exhaustive list)
Overview of Voter ID Tribal Identification (non-exhaustive list) Tribal identification or enrollment card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe, nation, community, or band (“tribe”), a tribal subdivision or the Bureau of Indian Affairs Certificate of Indian Blood issued by a tribe or BIA Voter registration card for tribal elections Home site assignment lease, permit or allotment issued by a tribe, tribal subdivision or BIA Grazing permit or allotment issued by a tribe, tribal subdivision or BIA


27 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Provisional Voting – ID Issues Two types of provisional ballots Regular Provisional Ballot – if name or address on ID do not match the information in the precinct register or photo does not reasonably resemble elector Conditional Provisional Ballot – if voter provides no ID or only one form of non-photo ID

28 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Provisional Voting – ID Issues Regular Provisional Ballots are counted if the signature on the ballot envelope matches the signature the county recorder has on file with the voter’s registration Poll worker should give voter a receipt that has a place to indicate whether ID was provided Receipt has a phone number that voter can call to find out if his ballot was counted

29 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Provisional Voting – ID Issues Conditional Provisional Ballots are not counted unless the voter provides ID to county elections officials within 5 days of the election Can return to polling place on election day with ID OR Go to County ID verification site within 5 days

30 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Special Provisions for Native Americans A Native American voter who provides one form of tribal ID (photo or non-photo) with the voter’s name (address not required) receives a regular provisional ballot Ballot will be counted after signature match

31 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues
Felony Disenfranchisement Arizona elections officials are notified when a voter is convicted of a felony and cancel the voter’s registration People with one felony conviction who have completed any sentence of imprisonment, probation and/or parole and have paid all fines and restitution are eligible to register and vote People with two or more felony convictions must apply to the court to have their voting rights restored


33 Types of Major Incidents to Report by EP
Unregistered Voters If someone is certain they registered to vote but they are not on the voting roll, get their information (Name, contact info, where they think they registered, with what organization) Lack of Needed Assistance Any issues related to voters who need assistance or would like to bring someone into the poll to assist them (such as the disabled or language minorities) Native Language Assistance Keep track of people seeking Native language assistance and whether they received that assistance Translation services (including bilingual voting materials) not being provided (in required areas) IDs Requests for ID where not required by law Acceptable forms of ID being rejected (especially Tribal IDs) Keep track of Native voters who could not vote because they didn’t have acceptable ID (Especially keep track of voters with Tribal ID issues) and whether provisional ballots are being offered Provisional ballots Keep track of the reason why each provisional ballot was cast. And, if voters were or not offered one. Partisan Poll Monitors Selective challenges by poll monitors that appear based on race, ethnicity, or other demographic variables Random challenges by poll monitors not based on any justifiable rationale Intimidation of voters by loud challenges or argumentative discussions

34 Types of Major Incidents to Report
Systemic Problems Faulty machines or unusually long lines at polling places Polling places opening late or closing early Insufficient number of ballots or provisional ballots Voters being turned away Voters denied the right to vote and told they were “purged” form the voter rolls Selective questioning regarding felon status / voters denied because of being an ex-felon Voters without acceptable ID Voters who are at the wrong precinct and are not assisted with finding their correct precinct voters being turned away without being offered a provisional ballot Possible voter suppression tactics / Inappropriate behavior Any remarks, slurs, or other obvious bias against voters by elected officials, poll monitors, or other voters based on race, religion, color, ethnicity or country of origin Misinformation campaigns, consisting either of fliers, posters, telephone calls, or radio ads giving the wrong date of election day or giving false info about voter requirements Poll monitors with cameras and video cameras, ostensibly to catch acts of voter fraud on film Poll monitors in uniform, or with badges, armbands, or side arms Any individuals inappropriately approaching or confusing voters on their way into vote Any unusual law enforcement presence or activity at or in the vicinity of the polling place

35 Planning for 2012 Tribal Support and Buy-In
Tribal In-House Counsel Volunteers Hotline Announcements to Tribal members Encourage additional volunteers from tribal communities Encourage tribal members to serve as pollworkers Educate Members on the Law


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