Our nation has been built on the principles of liberty, equality and fairness. For 1.2 million Arizonans, this current system does not represent any of those principles. Independent voters face a 21st century poll tax put in place by electioneer cronies looking to keep these Independent voters disenfranchised.
According to an article in this morning’s Arizona Republic, the only way Independents can vote in Arizona in the Presidential Preference Election is if a month ahead of time, they change their party registration to Republican or Democrat. Simply put, Independents can participate ONLY if they are no longer an Independent. Those who purposely chose not to be part of a party have to become part of a party just to vote.
This group of 1.2 million voters who chose NOT to be party of a party will still be on the hook for the cost of the PPE, which according to Secretary of State Michelle Reagan costs taxpayers nearly $10 million. In 2012 alone, 50,000 voters in Maricopa County had their PPE ballots thrown out because they had not registered as one of the major two parties who have an unfair monopoly on the current system.
It’s a modern day poll tax designed to disenfranchise voters. Taxpaying voters should not be forced to change a decision they consciously made just to have the ability to vote. This is a completely unfair system to the largest bloc of voters in the state and discourages voter participation at a time when Arizona just experienced a 30-year low for voter turnout in 2014.
Voters and candidates should always be treated equally, no matter their party affiliation or if they choose not to affiliate. If you agree with us that it’s time to treat all voters equally, please visit OpenandHonestAZ.com to learn about the Open and Honest Coalition.
This coalition of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, former elected officials, business leaders and concerned citizens has put forth two initiatives that will level the playing field for all voters and bring transparency to our election system.
Our election system shouldn’t revolve around a 21st century poll tax. All voters deserve to be treated fairly, including the Independents who want to stay Independent.