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Arizona’s League Of Women Voters Summit To Address Election Problems

From five hour-long lines to the misprinting of voter pamphlets, Arizona’s elections in 2016 seemed plagued with problems.

“How could we forget the long lines in Maricopa County for the presidential preference election?” asked Robyn Prud’homme-Bauer with Arizona’s chapter of the League of Women Voters.

After so many issues with voting in 2016, she’s looking to find some solutions.

Prud’homme-Bauer has organized a Voters Rights Summit at ASU West on Saturday to bring in voters, advocates and elected officials to brainstorm ways in which things could change.

“When you start seeing these issues continuing to come up, there seems to be a need to start having a discussion of, how could we do it better?” she said. “What are the things that need to be changed so that voters have a more open, fair and accessible voting system in the state of Arizona?”

But what are the actual possibilities?

“Things like automatic registration or portable registration,” Prud’homme-Bauer said. “Or even same-day registration, that have all been done in states across the country.”

Same-day registration means you can register to vote on the day of the election. Portable registration mean, if you move or change addresses, your votmer registration would move with you, so you wouldn’t have to register all over again, Prud’homme-Bauer said.

And, automatic voter registration means that anyone that’s eligible in the state’s motor-vehicle database would be automatically registered to vote. So, it’s an opt-out system, not an opt-in one.

Prud’homme-Bauer said they’re also planning to talk about the Electoral College at the summit. They’re interested in talking about the possibility of Arizona passing a law to give their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote.

But, that law didn’t get anywhere in our state Legislature last session, and it would only take effect if states that total more than half the electoral votes also pass the law. 

And Prud’homme-Bauer said that there are some more practical things Arizona could do as well.

“There’s the upgrading of equipment. Every county has different voting equipment, they even have different voting processes,” she said. “One of the questions is: should we have some sort of uniform standards or uniform voting across all of the counties?”

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.