Arizona voters who overwhelmingly cast their ballots by mail have rejected a measure that would have required them to add more information to the simple signature and date they now put on the back of the return envelope.
Proposition 309 also would have eliminated the ability of registered voters who do not have a state or federally-issued photo ID with them when they vote in person to provide other proof of identity to cast a ballot.
New tallies from Maricopa County and several smaller counties released on Wednesday showed there was no chance for the measure to pass. It had been too close to call in the eight days since polls closed on November 8 and was the last of 10 measures on the ballot to be called by The Associated Press.
The measure was falling about 20,000 votes short of passing, well above the margin for a recount under a new law that boosts the difference between ballot measures or candidates from 1/10 of a percent to 1%.
Democrats and voting rights groups said that the changes would lead to more mail-in ballots being rejected and people being turned away at the polls. They also pointed out that citizenship and other requirements for voting are already confirmed during the voter registration process.
Republicans said the changes were needed to boost election security. The GOP-dominated Legislature put the measure on the ballot.
If it had passed, Proposition 309 would have required voters to write their birthdates and add state-issued voter identification numbers, driver’s licenses, or identification card numbers, or a partial social security number to affidavits rather than just signing and dating them. The back-of-envelope signature used by many counties also would be changed to require that they be placed into a second envelope.
In-person voting requirements also would change, eliminating the ability of voters who don’t have a state, tribal, or federal government-issued photo ID on them to vote by presenting two alternate documents, such as a utility bill.
Republished with the permission of The Associated Press.