Moved recently? Be prepared for hassle at polls - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Moved recently? Be prepared for hassle at polls

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Posted: Friday, October 31, 2008 6:17 pm | Updated: 10:22 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Have you moved recently, perhaps because of a foreclosure? You're going to be in for a nasty surprise Tuesday if you show up at your old polling place where you're registered to vote: You'll be turned away.

State elections director Joe Kanefield said Arizona law requires you to vote where you live on Election Day. But the ability to re-register for this election ended Oct. 6.

Kanefield said would-be voters who have moved since the cutoff should instead go to the assigned polling place in their new community.

The rules for presenting valid identification allow those who recently moved to present an ID with either the old or new address.

Kanefield said there's a good reason for the rule.

"Where you live is where the candidates that are running for office represent you," he said. "Those are the people who will be representing you and therefore those are the ones you should be voting for."

Voters will not get a regular ballot but a "provisional" one. This is set aside and not counted until county election officials can verify that the person was in fact legally registered at the old address.

Maricopa County elections director Karen Osborne said the same rules apply for those who applied for and got an early ballot at their old address but moved after Oct. 6. She said they should come to the county office and turn in that early ballot - unmarked - and get another one for the address where they are now living.

But Osborne said she's not counting on that happening.

"I will tell you, most people vote that first ballot," she said, filling it out and dropping it in the mail. "We're not going to know."

There is an exception to the rules: Those who moved from one Arizona county to another after Oct. 6 are supposed to vote near where they used to live.

Kanefield said that's because each county keeps its own voter registration rolls. That means someone who moves to another county is legally supposed to re-register.

But with the deadline passed, that is impossible.

"Recognizing that you should have the right to vote somewhere, the law allows you to vote back in the county where you moved from," he said.

Whether a voter has moved or not, anyone who shows up at the polls will be required to provide acceptable identification.

That includes a valid Arizona driver's license or identification card, a tribal enrollment card or a valid identification issued by the federal, state or local government, all of which are acceptable only if they have a photograph, name and address.

Voters without any of those documents can instead produce two other documents without photographs if they have a name and address. These include utility bills or bank statements within 90 days of the election, a vehicle registration, property tax statement, Indian census card, tribal identification or other valid government-issued ID, including the voter registration card issued by the county recorder.

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