This was the first time I have voted in-person in AZ. I had previously used a mail-in ballot and expected to do so again, but what happened a few weeks ago changed that. Dkos user Late Again post a diary asking Are you voting for Obama in November? Are you really sure about that?+ on August 9th. He included a link to CanIVote.org. The Can I Vote website redirected me to the AZ Secretary of State page where I could check the status of my registration. I was surprised to discover that my registration was inactive.
I assumed my registration was inactive due to having changed my mailing address. My previous address was technically still valid, but I had transferred my mail to a different house. I went ahead and re-registered to update the address to the new mailing address. Either address was acceptable, as far as I could tell, since I split my time equally between the two and they are both in the same city/county. I also updated my DMV record at the same time, but did not order a new license. In fact, I was not offered the option to order a new license.
After re-registering, I checked the AZ SOS site every day to see if my status had changed. Last Thursday, August 23, it finally updated to reflect the new address and my active status. I requested a mail-in ballot, but since it took two weeks for it to process through the system it was too late for me to receive one for the primary.
This morning I went to the SOS site and looked up my polling location. It's on the other side of town. This is actually one of the reasons I didn't want to update the address on my registration, because I am at my parents more than I am at my own house and they live on the other side of town. In any case, I drove to the address that the SOS site directed me to.
At the polling site, the first thing they did was ask me for an ID. I was a bit annoyed by this, but didn't make a fuss. I handed over my ID and watched as the woman looked for my name on the rolls. A minute or so later she told me I was not on the list. She then checked the "add ons" and I was not on that list, either. Then another woman came and looked and also could not find me. The woman had me show her where my house is and confirmed I was at the correct polling location. I was advised I would have to vote on a provisional ballot.
I went over to a table where another woman took my driver's license. She then tried to tell me I needed to go to a different polling location because the address on my driver's license was incorrect. I advised her that I had updated the records with the DMV and the SOS office and had not been sent a new driver's license or a voter registration card. She asked if I had utility bills with the new address and I said of course I do, but I don't carry them around. I started to get annoyed and said rather loudly that I am an American citizen and have a right to vote. She finally agreed to let me vote on the provisional ballot, but put the old address on it.
There weren't very many offices for me to vote for. In fact, there were only three. The other offices in my district didn't even have Democratic candidates at all.
As I was leaving, the woman who I was arguing with about whether my ID was proper followed me to the door saying, "I'm sorry, it's just that there's a lot of trouble with, you know, all the immigrants and stuff."