Debating Prop 309: Photo I.D. requirement for in-person voting

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Proposition 309 Voter I.D. would require a photo I.D. for in-person voting and an affidavit for mail in ballots. Senator J.D. Mesnard (R) District 17 and Pinny Sheoran, president of the The League of Women Voters of Arizona, spoke about their sides of the proposition.

Why Would Prop 309 be a Good Idea?

“So this is really just an evolution of voter ID laws from several years ago as it relates to going to the ballot, going to the polls and voting in person,” Mesnard said.

There are three different ways to show I.D., two of them require some sort of photo identification.

“This just says that if you’re showing up in person, we need to be able to match the face to the photo, so you do need to have photo I.D. And if you can’t afford one or don’t have one, like a drivers license number, we’ll provide you one for free,” Mesnard said.

Why Would Prop 309 Not be a Good Idea?

“The photo I.D. is not the issue,” Sheoran said.

If a person has an I.D. without an address, there is a possibility to provide alternate information. This is because at the polls, having a proper address ensures receiving a correct ballot.

“What this act will do is it allows for military and passports, which don’t have an address, but it deliberately excludes tribal I.D.s,” Sheoran said.

Tribal I.D.s can still be accepted as long as a photo is there with it, according to Mesnard.

Besides a drivers license, “If you have any other photo I.D. that does not have your address on there, so a passport or could be a tribal I.D. etc., then you have to provide some kind of additional piece of documentation with your address, but in either case it simply would require a photo I.D.,” Mesnard said.

Many tribes do not have the standard form of photo identification, and this new law will exclude them, according to Sheoran.

Sen. J.D. Mesnard (R) District 17; Pinny Sheoran/Pres., The League of Women Voters of Arizona

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