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Patty Ferguson-Bohnee Indian Legal Clinic Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Patty Ferguson-Bohnee Indian Legal Clinic Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Patty Ferguson-Bohnee Indian Legal Clinic Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

2  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  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  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  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



12  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  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  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  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  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  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 Voter Identification

22 Overview of Voter ID Law  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) Photo Identification

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  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) Voter Identification

25 Overview of Voter ID  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 Tribal Identification (non-exhaustive list)


27 Overview of Election Law and Election 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 Provisional Voting – ID Issues

28 Overview of Election Law and Election 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 Provisional Voting – ID Issues

29 Overview of Election Law and Election 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 Provisional Voting – ID Issues

30 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues  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 Special Provisions for Native Americans

31 Overview of Election Law and Election Issues  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 Felony Disenfranchisement


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  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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