ARIZONA, A LOST HERITAGE
Of all the states outside the South, Arizona had the lowest percentage of potential eligibles (64.8 per cent) registered to vote in the 1968 Presidential election and the lowest overall turnout (51.8 per cent) at the polls. The 200,000 Mexican-Americans and 144,000 Indians who reside in the state constitute most of the disenfranchised.
Apache and Navajo counties in the northeast quadrant of Arizona had registration rates 20 to 40 per cent below even the subpar averages for the remainder of the state. Pinal County. containing the upper portion of the Papago Reservation as well as the typical Southwestern small town of Casa Grande, just off the principal Tucson-Phoenix freeway, had one of the poorest voter registration levels in the nation -- well below 45 per cent of the adult population.
In adjacent Pima County, at Covered Wells on the Papago Reservation. only 47 of the 107 Indians eligible voted for governor and congressman in the off-year election in 1966 -- a ratio of 43.93 per cent, compared with a countywide turnout of 66.34 per cent. At South Tucson City Hall, 414 out of 769 registered Mexican-Americans, or 53.84 per cent, voted in the same election.
In the Presidential election two years later, Richard Nixon