With new Arizona voting laws, Native Americans brace for more challenges to casting ballots [IN DEPTH]

Voting hasn’t always been easy for Hunts-in-Winter, 52, and members of his family. A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Hunts-in-Winter says his hyphenated last name has sometimes caused confusion at the polls./Courtesy Hunts-in-Winter

By Meena Venkataramanan | Arizona Republic

Timothy Hunts-in-Winter has used his tribal ID to vote for as long as he can remember. Originally from the Midwest, Hunts-in-Winter moved as a child to Arizona, where he has spent the past 40 years.

But voting hasn’t always been easy for Hunts-in-Winter, 52, and members of his family. A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, Hunts-in-Winter says his hyphenated last name has sometimes caused confusion at the polls.

“It’s a Native name that’s common,” said the former public school teacher, who lives in Tempe. “So sometimes people do have problems with my signature and I prefer additional time for them to be able to call me to verify my signature because often I have to explain what my last name is.”

Currently, under Arizona law, ballots with mismatched signatures — signatures that don’t match what the state has on file — may be cured up to five business days after Election Day. But last month, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a new voting bill, Senate Bill 1003, that specifies that ballots that are missing signatures entirely must be cured by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Indigenous voting rights advocates say this law, along with Senate Bill 1485, another bill signed by Ducey that removes voters from the permanent early voting list if they haven’t voted early in two consecutive primary and general elections, will disenfranchise Native American voters across the state.READ READ ON:

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