2006 Ballot Propositions & Judicial Performance Review
|2006 Ballot Propositions||
Arizona Secretary of State
|Ballot Proposition Voter's Guide - PDF|
|2006 Ballot Propositions||
Arizona Secretary of State
|Ballot Proposition Voter's Guide - PDF|
PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 16, CHAPTER 2, ARTICLE 4, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY REPEALING SECTION 16-248, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 16, CHAPTER 4, ARTICLE 1, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY REPEALING SECTION 16-404, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES AND ADDING A NEW SECTION 16-404, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 16, CHAPTER 4, ARTICLE 2, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES BY AMENDING SECTION 16-411, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 16, CHAPTER 4, ARTICLE 5, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY AMENDING SECTION 16-461, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO TITLE 16, CHAPTER 4, ARTICLE 6, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES, BY REPEALING SECTION 16-510, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES AND ADDING A NEW SECTION 16-510, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES.
It is the purpose of this measure to increase voting in Arizona. For many Arizonans, the physical act of going to their polling place on election day is an impediment to their ability to vote. There are countless reasons causing voters to unwillingly stay away from the polls, ranging from physical disability to last minute personal emergencies on election day. This measure eliminates impediments to voting and provides unlimited access to voting by registered voters, thereby increasing voting.
Under present Arizona law, any registered voter may request an early ballot for voting. The early ballot can be returned timely by mail or hand delivered to election officials. This early voting by mail process is working well as the percentage of early ballots has been increasing over the course of recent elections.
To fully maximize the ability and opportunity for all of Arizona's registered voters to vote, this measure proposes to institute a vote by mail election process in Arizona. This new election process will establish voting by mail as the standard election process and provide equal access to voting.
The present laws for voter registration will not be changed by this measure. The state's early voting option will continue under this measure. The present laws for properly verifying a mailed in ballot will be adhered to under this measure. To save tax dollars, sample ballots will no longer be mailed to each household where a registered voter resides, because a ballot will be sent automatically to each registered voter.
On election day, voters will still be able to vote at a limited number of county- wide polling places or deliver their ballots at the offices of election officials. This election day voting option ensures that those voters who prefer or need to vote in person, for whatever reason, may do so.
NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW OR ANY CHARTER OR ORDINANCE OF ANY COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN TO THE CONTRARY, ANY ELECTION CALLED PURSUANT TO THE LAWS OF THIS STATE SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY MAIL. THE USE OF POLLING PLACES FOR VOTING IN THIS STATE SHALL BE RESTRICTED TO AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM OF COUNTY WIDE AND NOT PRECINCT SPECIFIC POLLING PLACES THAT ARE DEEMED ESSENTIAL BY COUNTY RECORDERS AND ELECTION OFFICIALS. SCHOOL BUILDINGS SHALL BE PROHIBITED AS POLLING PLACES. THE COUNTY BOARDS OF SUPERVISORS SHALL ONLY APPOINT AND FURNISH ELECTIONS MATERIALS TO ELECTION BOARDS, TALLY BOARDS, INSPECTORS, MARSHALLS, JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ELECTIONS TO SERVE IN COUNTY WIDE POLLING PLACES AND NOT IN EACH PRECINCT. EARLY VOTING BY MAIL, ON-SITE EARLY VOTING AT THE COUNTY RECORDER'S OFFICE OR OTHER ELECTION OFFICIAL'S OFFICE AND ON-SITE ELECTION DAY VOTING AT THE COUNTY RECORDER'S OFFICE OR OTHER ELECTIONS OFFICIAL'S OFFICE SHALL CONTINUE.
A. The board of supervisors of each county shall, on or before December 1 of each year preceding the year of a general election, by an order, establish a convenient number of election precincts in the county and define the boundaries thereof. Such election precinct boundaries shall be so established as included within election districts prescribed by law for elected officers of the state and its political subdivisions including community college district precincts, except those elected officers provided for in titles 30 and 48.
B. Not less than twenty days before a general or primary election, and at least ten days before a special election, the board shall designate one polling place within each precinct where the election shall be held. Upon a specific finding of the board, included in the order or resolution designating polling places pursuant to this subsection, that no suitable polling place is available within a precinct, a polling place for such precinct may be designated within an adjacent precinct. Adjacent precincts may be combined if boundaries so established are included in election districts prescribed by law for state elected officials and political subdivisions including community college districts but not including elected officials prescribed by titles 30 and 48. The officer in charge of elections may also split a precinct for administrative purposes. Any such polling places shall be listed in separate sections of the order or resolution.
C. If the board fails to designate the place for holding the election, or if it cannot be held at or about the place designated, the justice of the peace in the precinct shall, two days before the election, by an order, copies of which he shall immediately post in three public places in the precinct, designate the place within the precinct for holding the election. If there is no justice of the peace in the precinct, or if the justice of the peace fails to do so, the election board of the precinct shall designate and give notice of the place within the precinct of holding the election. For any election in which there are no candidates for elected office appearing on the ballot, the board may consolidate polling places and precinct boards and may consolidate the tabulation of results for that election if all of the following apply:
D. The board is not required to designate a polling place for special district mail ballot elections held pursuant to article 8.1 of this chapter, but the board may designate one or more sites for voters to deposit marked ballots until 7:00 p.m. on the day of the election.
E. Except as provided in subsection F, a public school shall provide sufficient space for use as a polling place for any city, county or state election when requested by the officer in charge of elections.
F. The principal of the school may deny a request to provide space for use as a polling place for any city, county or state election if, within two weeks after a request has been made, he provides a written statement indicating a reason the election cannot be held in the school, including any of the following:
G. The board shall make available to the public as a public record a list of the polling places for all precincts in which the election is to be held including identification of polling place changes that were submitted to the United States department of justice for approval.
H. B. Except in the case of an emergency, any facility that is used as a polling place on election day shall allow electioneering and other political activity outside of the seventy-five foot limit prescribed by section 16-515 in public areas and parking lots used by voters.
B. Within five days after receipt of the sample ballot, the county chairman of each political party shall suggest to the election officer any change the officer considers should be made in the officer's party ballot, and if upon examination the election officer finds an error or omission in the ballot the officer shall correct it. The election officer shall cause the sample ballots to be printed and distributed as required by law, shall maintain a copy of each sample ballot and shall post a notice indicating that sample ballots are available on request. The official sample ballot shall be printed on colored paper. For voters who are not registered with a party that is entitled to continued representation on the ballot pursuant to section 16 804, the election officer may print and distribute the required sample ballots in an alternative format, including a reduced size format.
D. The board of supervisors shall have printed mailer type sample ballots for a primary election and shall mail at least eleven days prior to the election one sample ballot of a political party to each household containing a registered voter of that political party. A certified claim shall be presented to the secretary of state by the board of supervisors for the actual cost of printing, labeling and postage of each sample ballot actually mailed, and the secretary of state shall direct payment of the authenticated claim from funds of the secretary of state's office.
E. For city and town elections, the governing body of a city or town may have printed mailer type sample ballots for a primary election. If the city or town has printed such sample ballots, the city or town shall provide for the distribution of such ballots and shall bear the expense of printing and distribution of such sample ballots.
F. The return address on the mailer type sample ballots shall not contain the name of an appointed or elected public officer nor may the name of an appointed or elected public officer be used to indicate who produced the sample ballot.
G. The great seal of the state of Arizona shall be imprinted along with the words "official voting materials" on the mailing face of each sample ballot. In county, city or town elections the seal of such jurisdiction shall be substituted for the state seal.
A. THE COUNTY RECORDER OR THE GOVERNING BODY OF EACH ELECTION DISTRICT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CONDUCTING ALL ELECTIONS BY MAIL. NOT MORE THAN THIRTY THREE DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION AND NOT FEWER THAN FIFTEEN DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION THE COUNTY RECORDER OR OTHER OFFICER IN CHARGE OF ELECTIONS FOR THE ELECTION DISTRICT SHALL SEND BY FIRST CLASS MAIL ALL OFFICIAL BALLOTS WITH PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS AND A RETURN ENVELOPE BEARING A PRINTED BALLOT AFFIDAVIT AS DESCRIBED IN §16-547 TO EACH QUALIFIED ELECTOR ENTITLED TO VOTE IN THE ELECTION. THE ENVELOPE IN WHICH THE BALLOT IS MAILED SHALL BE CLEARLY MARKED, "DO NOT FORWARD. RETURN TO SENDER. RETURN POSTAGE GUARANTEED. ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED." THE COUNTY RECORDER OR ELECTION DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARD SHALL PAY FOR FIRST CLASS POSTAGE FOR THE RETURN BY MAIL OF ELECTORS' MARKED BALLOTS. AN ELECTOR WHO VOTES BY MAIL BALLOT SHALL RETURN THE ELECTORS' MARKED BALLOT TO THE COUNTY RECORDER'S OFFICE OR OTHER OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE ELECTION NO LATER THAN 7:00 P.M. ON THE DAY OF ELECTION.
B. THE COUNTY RECORDER OR GOVERNING BODY OF EACH ELECTION DISTRICT SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR RECEIVING AND PROCESSING MAIL BALLOTS AND SHALL FOLLW THE SAME PROCEDURES AS SET FORTH FOR THE RECEIPT, PROCESSING AND CHALLENGES OF EARLY BALLOTS PURSUANT TO §16-550A, §16-551 AND §16-552.
Proposition 205 would require every state, county and local election to be conducted by mail-in ballots, while allowing an absolute minimum number of countywide polling places to be used as well. Each registered voter would automatically be mailed a ballot not fewer than 15 days before the election, along with a pre-paid, stamped envelope for the return of the voted ballot. All ballots sent to voters would be by non-forwardable mail, with address correction requested. Voters would be instructed to return their ballots no later than the close of the election on election day.
Proposition 205 would require elections officials to maintain only the absolute minimum number of polling places, each of which would be open to any voter in the county, instead of being limited to voters in that election precinct. These countywide polling places could be located in election offices or other locations, other than school buildings. Existing provisions for voting by mail and on-site early voting remain unchanged.
State law requires the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) Staff to prepare a summary of the fiscal impact of certain ballot measures. Each household with a registered voter currently receives a sample ballot prior to state, county and local elections. These sample ballots may not be used for voting. Proposition 205 eliminates the requirement to provide sample ballots to households and instead requires mailing a regular ballot to each registered voter. As the sample ballot mailing is a state cost, elimination of that requirement may save the state approximately $1.7 million in election years. Since counties and local governments would have to mail regular ballots to each individual registered voter, their mailing costs are projected to be higher than the current cost of mailing the sample ballot to households. The counties and local governments, however, may reduce some of their other expenses. The counties and local governments are currently responsible for the cost of polling places. Since Proposition 205 would require an absolute minimum number of polling places, county and local government may experience savings depending on the revised number of polling places. The net fiscal impact on county and local governments is difficult to determine in advance and will depend, at least in part, on their higher costs to mail ballots to registered voters compared to the savings from a reduced number of polling places.
By allowing only mail-in ballots, the Vote By Mail Initiative would increase voter turnout. Elderly people and the physically handicapped often find it challenging to go to the polls. During national elections, in particular, more people go to the polls to cast their ballots. Long lines form. Waiting time lengthens, thus making it ever more onerous for the disabled and elderly to vote. Inclement weather can be another obstacle to a high voter turnout. If long lines extend beyond the indoor polling place, the poorly motivated voters are likely to remain at home.
The Vote By Mail Initiative would allow citizens to be better-educated and better-prepared voters. In order to cast intelligent votes, the voters need to be well informed, especially about ballot propositions. By casting votes in comfort and privacy, the voters can study the issues and vote in a leisurely manner, rather than in the rush of the voting booth. Arizona often has nearly twenty complicated ballot issues, a daunting number on which to vote in a matter of minutes.
Only two states use the vote-by-mail process exclusively, Washington and Oregon. Opinion polls indicate that residents of both states like the vote-by-mail process and would not rescind it. Voting participation in both states has increased since vote-by-mail was instituted.
The League of Women Voters of Arizona urges all citizens to support the Vote by Mail Initiative in order to increase voter turnout, allow voters sufficient time to learn about and vote on ballot issues, and ensure accurate vote counting.
Proposition 205 will guarantee that every registered voter receives a ballot in the mail for every election. The 60 percent of Arizona voters who already vote by mail will no longer have to submit a request form. The ballot will be sent automatically. Better yet, it will be postpaid.
Results of a similar system in Oregon have proven that mail balloting significantly increases voter participation. We will no longer have primary elections where only 20 percent of voters determine our candidates, or city bond elections where only six percent of voters decide how much our property taxes will be.
The nation is supposed to rise up as a whole, and make decisions all at once, on election day, IN PERSON. It's traditional, historic, part of our very fabric. It helps make America great. The body politic acts, live, at the polls. America invented this. It's not delivery work for the Post Office.
Closing polling places for mailed elections makes fraud easy -- did the Post Office deliver your signed ballot? You won't know. Did you even get one in time? Did someone else gets yours... or two? Did you vote early, and now your candidate is... dead? Under investigation? In prison? Imagine the lines with most polls closed.
Voting is a sacred right of liberty. It requires a little effort folks. You have to find out who's running and what the issues are. Then you have to get off your lazy keester, go to a polling place with your neighbors and cast your vote. If that's too much, then you personally are letting precious freedom die. This isn't about the disabled or absentees -- it's about citizenship.
Next thing you know, they'll offer lotteries to get your vote. Then, people who know nothing and simply want a loser's chance to win money will mail in chances to win. What's that -- someone's already proposing cash giveaways?
I STRONGLY OPPOSE this proposition and encourage you to vote NO. The writers of this proposition are trying to falsely influence you with the title "Your Right to Vote by Mail Act". All voters ALREADY have the right to vote by mail, PLUS we now have the right to vote at a polling location in our local neighborhood. If this proposition passes, our right to vote at our local polling places will be taken away and only a small number of polling locations throughout the state will be open on election day. As an involved political and community volunteer, I have seen first hand the major problems caused by miscounting of mail-in ballots in the 2004 elections in Legislative District 20. More than 400 extra votes appeared out of nowhere in a second count. Mail-in ballots leave open the door to increased fraud. The major supporter of this proposition lost his U.S. Congressional election in 2004. I can only guess his motives. This is a VERY BAD idea.
Proponents of Proposition 205 purport that it will increase voter turnout by forcing all Arizona voters to use a vote-by-mail system. Arizona voters would no longer have the option of going to the polling station in their own precinct on Election Day.
Oregon has conducted elections solely by mail for several years with relatively little impact on voter participation rates. There is no reliable evidence to suggest that an entirely vote-by-mail system would improve participation in Arizona. According to the National Commission on Electoral Reform (2005), "Voting by mail is not a panacea for declining participation and should not be adopted solely for this reason." Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Arizonans already vote -by-mail.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is most concerned about the potential for voter fraud, bad faith legal challenges and coercion associated with the entirely vote-by-mail system mandated by Proposition 205.
Concerns over mandating voters exclusively cast ballots by mail range from the possibility of those ballots being intercepted before they reach the registrar, to voting by ineligible individuals, to casting of multiple ballots by the same person, to the buying of votes. Additional problems may occur for voters who temporarily have their mail forwarded to a different location, as they may not receive their ballots. Also, will special interest groups allow registration rolls to be updated and cleaned up periodically to ensure only registered voters get to vote? Lastly, how will voter eligibility be verified to ensure only U.S. citizens are voting?
Proposition 205 is anti-choice. It would force nearly every voter in Arizona to vote by mail. It would also shut down the vast majority of polling places in Arizona. Why deny Arizonans the right to cast their ballots at a polling place with other civic-minded citizens? Why not allow voters the choice of exercising their sacred franchise in public places?
Why force citizens to forgo a time-honored ritual at the polls - a ritual which enhances community ties and teaches our children the value of civic participation? Going to the polls is immensely valuable as a public display of the sort of civic virtue required by a self-governing people.
I am strongly AGAINST this Ballot Measure as it would create two negative impacts to our voting process. First, it would reduce the already limited methods to prevent voter fraud. Second, it would enable special interest groups to manipulate the outcome of elections to a greater extent and create untold consequences.
You would no longer have the option to go to the polls. Every person registered would be mailed a ballot, whether they requested it or not, even if they have moved! In Arizona people are constantly moving, but this bill does not require anyone to notify elections if they do.
Imagine thousands of ballots circulating for people who no linger live in that district, city, or state! The possibilities for voter fraud are overwhelming. This proposition circumvents Arizona's voter ID requirements. Anyone can just fill out the ballot and send it in; no one will be checking ID anymore.
Arizona leads the nation in identity theft and mail theft. Ballot security is compromised with so many ballots being mailed to old or inaccurate addresses. Steal enough ballots, and you can steal an election.
Without a local and convenient polling location, voters will have fewer chances to vote. Right now anyone can request an early ballot or go to the polls. But under Prop 205 if you lose it or spoil your ballot you can't just drive to your local polling location on Election Day. You have to drive to the Elections Office. This is an unnecessary hardship to both rural and urban voters.
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