When Charlotte Walker of Sun City, Arizona picked up her new voter ID card from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, she was surprised to see that two dates were listed for Election Day–one in English, citing the correct date of November 6th, and one in the Spanish translation, listing the date as November 8th. The error is printed on the paper containing the card.
According to the New Times, a spokeswoman for the Recorder’s Office called the wrong date an error and said it appears only with the ID cards that were picked up in person. The Elections Department estimates that fewer than 50 cards held the incorrect information. In the nearly two million cards that were mailed, none contained the wrong date.
Coming at a time when Arizona–and particularly Maricopa County–is embroiled in controversies over discrimination against Latinos, the mistake has fueled fears of a new voter suppression tactic. The county issued a statement, saying, “The program has been updated so it reflects the correct dates in both English and Spanish.” But Petra Falcon, director of the rights group Promise Arizona says, “To know that there’s information out there that’s wrong, it’s going to take a lot of work to make sure that people know the correct date.”
Charlotte Walker, the woman who discovered the mistake, also worries about the consequences. “It could have a significant impact on the election outcome because they’d go to the polls on November 8th and they wouldn’t be open,” she said. “They wouldn’t be able to cast their vote this year.”
If nothing else, the Elections Department has succeeded in drawing new scrutiny. And Arizona has sustained yet another black eye.
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