Voter registration goes too far for some - Tucson News Now

Voter registration goes too far for some

By J.D. Wallace - bio | email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) – With the November election a month away, Helen Louie checked up on how Arizona is registering its voters.

"I was still concerned if they were collecting information in a non clear method," said voter Helen Louie after checking on her voter registration.

The method is unclear, she said, because out of 21 items, not all of them have to be answered.  She said that the form doesn't make that clear.

"I only saw one item was optional which is the tribal identification number so, I said, ‘what about the rest of it?'" Louie said.

"It is very cynical and, frankly, in my opinion, a fraudulent document," said privacy advocate Willy Bils, J.D.

Bils pointed out that Arizona law requires name, address, birth date, a "yes" answer to citizenship, and the number a driver license or state ID, or last four digits of the Social Security number.

"They should put it someplace telling you what items are mandatory and what items are really optional which is the majority of the document," Bils said.

"If we put optional, then no one will fill it in, and really, there's a reason it's in state statute," said Matt Benson, spokesperson for the Secretary of State's office.

Another state law requires the other questions on the form.

"It's so counties have the fuller picture so they can contact these folks if they, you know, you would be surprised at how many people, they miss a spot on the form," Benson said.

But that doesn't make those questions mandatory.

"I'm worried that it's going to the Department of Homeland Security, it's going to the FBI," Bils said.

"We certainly believe that's not an issue, certainly in this age our information is kept by a lot of different government agencies," Benson said.

Keeping as much personal information private won't stop Helen Louie from casting her ballot.

"I think it's an important election," she said.

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said that instead of leaving a phone number off of the voter registration form, the applicant can write "unlisted" by the number to keep it off of call lists.

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