CAPITOL MEDIA SERVICES
By Howard Fischer
PHOENIX - House Democratic
lawmakers opened a new front Tuesday in the
effort to rescind changes in election laws
approved by voters as part of Proposition 200.
In a letter to the U.S.
Department of Justice, the legislators said the
provisions of the initiative disenfranchise
minorities. They said Hispanics, American
Indians Americans and blacks "are less likely to
have the identification" required by Proposition
200 in order to vote.
Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, a
signer of the letter, said fewer minorities have
photo IDs such as driver's licenses or passports
In a separate letter, Rep. Ann
Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, said even the
alternative voter identification allowed under
the initiative - two items without pictures but
with a name and address - may be out of reach
for many Indians. She said many reservation
residents lack power, water or other utilities,
meaning they won't have bills with the sought
Lawmakers said the requirement to
produce identification to vote is not the only
They noted another provision says
people cannot even register to vote without
proving they are U.S. citizens.
The objections are separate from
a lawsuit filed by the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Education Fund to invalidate other
sections of Proposition 200 which require proof
of legal residency for certain "public
benefits." A federal appeals court refused last
week to bar enforcement of that law while the
court challenge is pending.