Roughly 140,000 Maricopa County, Arizona, Voters have Not Received Voter ID Cards, potentially leaving Eligible Voters in Tuesday's Special Congressional Election unaware that they can Cast a Ballot.
County Election Officials said they haven't sent Cards Out since December, blaming a Printing Delay. The 8th Congressional District Special Election to Replace ousted Republican U.S. Rep. Trent Franks in the West Valley is being watched Nationally as a possible Bellwether for the Fall Midterm Elections.
The Voter ID Card Backlog does Not prevent any Registered Voter from Participating. Voter Registrations are Activated no matter when ID Cards are sent out. And there are other ways for Voters to provide Identification on Election Day.
But some Voters may not believe they are Registered if they haven't received an Official Card, worried Mesa Democrat Larry Smith, 66.
"It's another black eye for this Recorder's Office," said Smith, who Alerted The Arizona Republic that he hadn't received a Card since Updating his Registration in January. "You've got people registering to vote, some of them for the first time in their lives. It's the duty of the Recorder to send them a voter ID card."
After The Republic inquired, the Recorder's Office, led by Democrat Adrian Fontes, said it would send an Email to Voters affected by the Delay. Not all Voters have an Email Address on file.
The Stoppage occurred after Maricopa County's Procurement Office switched Printing for All County Departments in December to Di-Mor Business Forms in Phoenix, Recorder Officials said. Printing Voter IDs is a more Complicated Process than some Printing Jobs because there is no room for Error and the Cards are Laminated and Perforated so Voters can pop them out and slide them into a Wallet. "There's always going to be some time lost transitioning from one printer to another," said Di-Mor Owner Ernie Garcia. "We're doing our best. We're working long hours and weekends to finish up the remaining ones. We're doing everything we can in our power to get them caught up."
It took the Recorder's Office from Mid-December to Mid-February to get Unused Voter Registration Cards back from the Old Printer, which Officials did not want to Waste, and to confirm the New Printer could handle them. Di-Mor worked with the Recorder's Office until Early March to Test the New Process for accuracy. Di-Mor finally began Sending the First Batch of Voter ID Cards in late March, Garcia said. About 60,000 Cards have been sent. About 140,000 remain, Chief Deputy Recorder Keely Varvel said. "We are hounding this printer to get caught up," she said.
What to do if you don't have a Voter ID Card, Verify that you are Registered to Vote by going to the Maricopa County Recorder's Voter Registration page or calling 602-506-1511. When you go to the Polls, bring the following Forms of ID:
- One ID that has your Photo, Name, and Current Address, such as an Arizona Driver's License, Non-Operating Identification Card or Tribal Identification.
- Or Two Documents that have your Name, and Current Address, such as a recent Utility, Phone or Cable Bill; a Recent Bank or Credit Union Statement; Vehicle Registration; Indian Census Card; Property Tax Statement; Recorder’s Certificate; or Mailing to the Voter marked “Official Election Material.” Your Voter ID also Counts in this Category.
- Or, if your Photo ID does not have your Current Address, you can combine it with one Item above (such as a Utility Bill) that has your Current Address. You can also combine a Passport or Military ID combined with One Item above (such as a Utility bill) that has your Current Address.
- Or, you can Print your Voter ID Card. You can also use it on your Cellphone. Check your Voter Registration Status on the Maricopa County Recorder's Website and Print it out or show the QR Code on your Cellphone to a Polling Place Worker to Scan.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker