Thursday, April 22, 2021

Chicanonautica: Arizona Does It Again

by Ernest Hogan



My home state was doing so well, going for Biden early in the 2020 election, then going blue, and no comeback for Joe Arpaio and his fascist performance art disguised as law enforcement.

Could it be that Arizona would no longer be the U.S.A.’s laboratory for bad political ideas? Remember that Trump’s presidency was the old elect a businessman instead of a politician scam that crashed with two Arizona governors. Maybe we’ll be laugh at Georgia and its resurrection of Jim Crow instead.

Nope, looks like we’re going the way of Georgia.

Some of our Republican lawmakers, disgusted with the high turnout in 2020 that resulted in losses for their party have come up with three new proposed laws to make it harder for people to vote in the state.

As Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond said, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

What about more than three? What if it’s been going on for decades?

My wife and I have been voting by mail for years because of shenanigans like polling place locations being shifted around and the number of them being lowered. Combine this with a long drive from our home, we applied for mail ballots and they have been working fine.

It’s as if they’re afraid of a little good, honest democracy.

And what repugnant trio of proposed laws these are:

SB 1485 would purge voters who haven’t cast a ballot in both primary and general elections for two consecutive primary and general elections. My advice is vote in every election, and make sure you’re registered.

SB 1593 will narrow the window for us mail voters to get out ballots and require that they be postmarked on or prior to the Thursday before an election, which could make it difficult on the Native American reservations—some of them have no home mail service. My wife and I fill out and mail our ballots as soon as we get them.

If that wasn’t all, SB 1713 requires mail voters to add more identification, voters without driver’s licenses would have to make copes of ID documents. Right now, we just have to sign an affidavit attesting our identities under penalty of perjury, and all signatures are scanned, recorded, and verified by court officials. Wouldn’t that be enough?

My wife and I recently got our Real ID driver’s licenses. I showed them my birth certificate, and two bills with my name and address on them. They didn’t even ask to see my current license. How does this make me any more identified than before?

So, what next? Any Jim Crow laws in the works?

Ernest Hogan is the Father of Chicano Science Fiction, the author of High Aztech, and a voter.

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