Editor: Ideally, the United States of America should have an informed and engaged electorate. But in the 2016 Presidential Election only 61% of eligible voters voted, 87% of registered voters. Why isn’t every citizen at least 18 years of age registered to vote? Voter suppression is a big contributing factor: requiring a street address for Native Americans who live on reservations with no street address, requiring specific forms of identification not readily available to the poor, elderly or minority population, expunging voter registration for failure to vote in a couple of elections. Seventeen states and The District of Columbia have now adopted Automatic Voter Registration whereby citizens at age 18 or those who have interaction with a public agency such as the motor-vehicle department are automatically registered to vote unless they choose to “opt out”. These laws have proven successful in expanding voter rolls to make sure that every eligible American has the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
Our legislature will be in session again in January, let us as citizens of Arizona put pressure on our representatives to stop trying to suppress the vote. They tried to pass a number of bills this session to do just that such as trying to outlaw anyone from being paid to register voters.