PHOENIX – A federal judge on Wednesday refused to let critics of Arizona’s voter identification law station observers inside polling stations but ordered election officials to count how many people without ID walk away without voting.
U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver said the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and other challengers to the 2004 law have a legitimate interest in learning how many people are affected by the requirement that people casting ballots at polling places produce specified types of identification.
The judge ordered election officials to count instances where people who do not have required identification leave a polling place without casting a conditional provisional ballot.
Silver said she denied the challengers’ request to be allowed to station their own observers in polling places because state law permits only certain people in polling places in order to prevent interference, intimidation and harassment.
“This will allow the (challengers) access to the information they seek while avoiding the evils the statute seeks to prevent,” Silver wrote.