The Tribune published a complaint by Linda Brown lamenting that more than 112,000 voters in Maricopa County were "forced to cast provisional ballots on Election Day" ("Voting process should be reviewed," Opinion 2, Dec. 21). That means they did not have identification or evidence needed to allow them to vote, and were given a provisional ballot with adequate time to produce proper indicia.
To support Brown's charges against Arizona's voting system, she cites Mother Jones magazine's claim (very astutely derived I'm sure) that Arizona is "one of the worst places to vote in America."
Arizona is one of the most responsible places to vote because of Proposition 200. Linda Brown and ACORN apparently are on the same page. They believe everyone should vote irrespective of who they are or who they aren't and certainly not limited to just one vote.
She said, "Together we should take a look at how we run elections in Arizona. With sensible checks and balances and adequate funding we can ensure that every citizen that makes the effort to vote is successful." Voters were making exactly this point when they overwhelmingly approved Prop. 200 in 2004, establishing a very sensible identification process toward ensuring the integrity of the ballot.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of one's vote. Our republic depends on the "effort" of every citizen not only to vote but to be informed on the issues and candidates and laws governing the election process itself. Voting means more than checking a box or drawing a line. It means knowing where and how to properly complete and mail your ballot. It also means knowing the law requires each voter to present adequate proof of identity.
All U.S. citizens must shoulder the responsibility of maintaining a legitimate electoral system. John F. Kennedy's observation is truer today than when he said it in 1963: "The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all."
Brown may mean several things by her hope that every vote is "successful" - I hope she will agree that we have an obligation to ensure the integrity of our elections and not allow it to be diminished by the illegal votes of the fictitious, the deceased, or the citizens of foreign lands.
Sen.-elect Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, will be chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee when the new Legislature convenes.