Practical solutions for Pima County
Ballot Text Message Receipts
Utilizing text message technology will enable the County Recorder’s Office to share directly with voters when ballots are mailed out, when they are received by the Recorder’s office and reminders as mailing deadlines approach. Text message receipts are a very effective way of keeping voters informed of the voting process. Text messages can also be utilized to alert the voter of an issue, such as an unsigned ballot, and provide instructions for correcting the errors. In a mobile society,
Ballot Drop Boxes
Ballot Drop Boxes are a convenient way for voters to drop off their ballots and other voting related materials at their convenience. These boxes are similar to United States Postal Service Collection Boxes and would enable voters to submit voter registration forms without need for postage. They would allow working people to securely deposit their ballots at any time of day or night and would minimize the need to find parking or enter buildings.
Increased Marketing and Visibility of the offices
Voters and Early Voting participants must have clear, easy to use instructions on how to access the services of this office. By taking the lead to create easy to use guides, shared on multiple platforms, such as social media, the office can reach more voters and reduce the amount of inaccurate information that unintentionally gets circulated each election cycle, which ultimately disenfranchises voters.
Commitment to Community Needs:
This office will meet with stakeholders throughout the county to better understand the needs of the public. This includes strengthening relationships with rural and tribal communities, colleges and universities, the latinx community, the deaf/disabled community, and other communities where areas of growth have been identified. Additionally, the office will meet with those stakeholders who utilize the website the most and rely on the services that the Recorder provides in order to do the work that they do. The information that the Recorder provides should continue to meet the needs of the community and should always have input.
Immediate changes would include: a more accessible website that is not entirely dependent on PDFs, Spanish Language Translation, Videos addressing common Voting Issues for visual learners, with ASL interpretation and/or captioning as a standard.
Expansion of Early Voting Centers
Same Day Voter Registration: The current 29 day voter registration deadline is antiquated and unnecessary. 29 days is a lifetime for low-income and houseless individuals who move much more often. Voter registrations can now be updated in real time and made available on election day if we were to move to electronic voter rolls, as other counties have done. Same Day Voter Registration allows voters to register for the first time or correct any errors to their voter registration, which may not be apparent to them until they attempt to vote. We should not be turning away motivated, eligible, individuals from polling locations.
Automatic Voter Registration: Utilize the Motor Vehicle Division’s database to automatically register voters would drastically reduce the resources currently being used for voter registration efforts only and would enable so many community organizations to shift those resources towards voter education. The need to provide voter registration to those individuals not captured by the Motor Vehicle Division’s database, but it would drastically reduce the number of unregistered voters. An Opt-Out option would exist for those who don’t wish to participate. Voters would be registered as “No Party Designated,” until they individually change their status, if they wish to do so. However, the benefit would be that they would be eligible for all elections, except for Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election, which requires voters to be of the same party of their candidate of choice.
Automatic Rights Restoration: The act of disenfranchising voters based on whether they have a felony or not can be traced back to the emancipation of enslaved people. The philosophy of disenfranchising people with felonies is rooted in white supremacy. We recognize that Arizona is part of the prison industrial complex which unfairly targets Black and Brown communities. Black and Brown people experience higher incarceration rates, harsher convictions and longer prison sentences. Upon release, they are most likely to struggle to find housing, employment and are most likely to be in need of public services. However, because they are disenfranchised, they will have no say in the decision making process of those services.
Supported Decision Making: Supported decision making (SDM) is a tool that allows people with disabilities to retain their decision making capacity by choosing supporters to help them make choices. A person using SDM selects trusted advisors, such as friends, family members, or professionals, to serve as supporters. The supporters agree to help the person with a disability understand, consider, and communicate decisions, giving the person with a disability the tools to make her own, informed, decisions.SDM was sponsored by a disabled lawmaker and is receiving bipartisan support in AZ Leg. SDM is a good alternative to guardianship and power of attorney, which automatically strips adult and voting rights away from disabled and elderly persons.