Dictionary 11. Register to Vote

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Because of alleged widespread voting fraud, Arizona has become the first state in the union to require that voters show proof of US citizenship. To register—or reregister—to vote, Arizona residents must now show a birth certificate or passport. Reregistration is required whenever a resident changes addresses. This requirement will cause problems for citizens who have lost their birth certificate or who don't have a passport.

"These problems will be settled in time," said Barney Fife, an election official. "Our priority is to prevent noncitizens from voting. Over 3,000 immigrants voted—illegally—in the last governor's election. Voting is a vital right that belongs to citizens exclusively, not to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that has just immigrated to this country."

Critics of the new law say that it will disenfranchise thousands of legitimate voters. Mrs. Thelma May agrees. She just moved to Tucson from Phoenix. She has to reregister now in order to vote, but has no birth certificate or passport.

"I've been voting all my life," she says. "I voted for JFK in '60. But I'm on my third marriage—I do hope it's my last—which means that my last name has changed three times. The Biloxi hospital I was born in was destroyed by hurricane Camille in 1969. All its records—including my birth certificate—ended up in the Gulf. My only copy of my birth certificate was lost when my drunken first husband fell asleep on the sofa smoking a cigarette. The entire house burnt down. I've lived in Arizona for the past 25 years. I've never even set foot outside America, and now I've got to prove that I'm a citizen of the United States? Damn bureaucrats!"


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