While it is far from certain the immigration dispute will turn the state Democrat in November, there are signs it could drive up Hispanic participation in the election.
One recent Saturday, Democratic state senate candidate Raquel Teran paced the streets of her strongly Hispanic Phoenix district, armed with a map, a list of registered Democratic voters and a sheaf of voter registration papers. She signed up one new voter at the first house she called at.
Sitting out in the shady yard of her in-laws’ home, young mother Yvette Sierra, 22, shared an experience about her husband being pulled over by Arpaio’s deputies, who she said let him go only after he produced their young son’s U.S. birth certificate.
“He’s stopping people and I just don’t think it’s right,” she says, filling out a voter registration form. “I never (voted), never thought about it … but I’m glad.”