States Offer Secondhand Ballots to Under-Resourced Voters

PHOENIX — Two new laws passed in Arizona and Kansas dictate that voters who decline or are otherwise unable to provide proof of citizenship now will be offered ballots that are pre-completed, including with candidate selections.

The move represents a revision to the two-tiered voting system designed to exploit a loophole in a Supreme Court decision from June that prohibited states from requiring proof of citizenship for federal, though not necessarily statewide, elections.

“While well-intentioned, the provision of separate ballots for federal and state elections turned out to be quite costly and confusing for all involved,” said Tom Horne, the Arizona attorney general.

So Horne, a Republican, started looking for a more straightforward and cost-effective way of achieving his stated goal of reducing the potential for voter fraud.

“What could be more helpful than taking all the guesswork out of voting for the indigent and disabled?” asked Horne. “I mean, they can’t seem get it together enough to carry with them arbitrarily defined proof of citizenship, which means they probably can’t handle a ballot, either.”

Petra Falcón, executive director of Promise Arizona in Action, disagrees, seeing the change as “another veiled attempt at discouraging young voters, low-income voters, Latino voters from entering the electoral process.”

Critics also point out that voter fraud is less common than UFO sightings. “That may be true,” said Horne, “but I’m not worried about UFOs; I’m worried about illegal aliens stealing my vote.”

“So, I’ve decided to take the high road and outright give them my vote.”

“The procedure is simple,” explained Danielle Lentworth, the Maricopa County recorder. “Election officials make copies of validated ballots as they come in, hand them off to undocumented voters, and allow these questionable citizens to drop the duplicates into the ballot box.

“It allows them to exercise their right to vote while ensuring that the actual votes cast are those of model citizens,” Lentworth said.

Asked whose votes will be copied and recast, Marta Sands, spokeswoman for the Kansas secretary of state, said, “Registered Republicans are already thoroughly vetted, so we’ll likely start there.”