Or just come on in and register to vote
The daily’s front page article chronicles a 60-year-old Navy veteran who is out of work and was, until recently, homeless. He is one of the many faces making up the rising caseload of Arizonans requesting food stamp assistance at the state Department of Economic Security (DES). The DES website reports the food stamp program has a new name: The Nutrition Assistance Program. It also promises that “every child, adult and family will be safe and economically secure.” A tall order in these tough times.
The newspaper headline tells us that Arizona’s requests are rising at twice the national rate. But why? Proposition 200 a voter-approved initiative passed in 2004, requires evidence of citizenship in order to obtain public benefits. Is it being followed? Arizona is the busiest illegal entry point on the country’s southern border, yet the article mysteriously lacks any reference to their favored residents: The “undocumented.”
A quick call to the DES offices (602-542-9935) revealed another matter that is front and center. The outgoing message to callers encourages voter registration:
“If you are not registered to vote where you live now, if you have a name change or would like to change party affiliation, you may request a voter registration packet from an agent today. Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency.”
Food stamps and registration? Now those are certainly hand-in-hand issues.