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National Digest: Arizona considers dual-track voting; many cattle feared dead in S. Dakota

Officials consider dual-track voting

Arizona plans to implement a dual-track voting system allowing people who register to vote without submitting proof of citizenship to cast ballots only for federal offices — such as Congress— but not for state or local offices, officials said Monday.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett will implement the system recommended under an opinion issued Monday by Attorney General Tom Horne, Bennett spokesman Matt Roberts said.

If the change announced Monday by Bennett and Horne sticks, it would mean voters who haven’t submitted proof of citizenship also wouldn’t be able to vote on ballot measures.

The vast majority of Arizonans register to vote by using a state form that requires proof of citizenship under a 2004 voter-approved law. That proof can include an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that Arizona and other states are required to accept a federal voter registration form. The federal form oesn’t require that they submit proof such as documents.

— Associated Press

Many cattle feared dead after blizzard

A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota left tens of thousands of people without electricity Monday and ranchers bracing for heavy losses as they assess how many of their cattle died during the unseasonably early blizzard.

The weekend storm was part of a powerful weather system that also buried parts of Wyoming and Colorado with snow, and spawned destructive tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa. At least four deaths were attributed to the weather, including a South Dakota man who collapsed while cleaning snow off his roof.

— Associated Press

Brown vetoes bill allowing non-citizens on jury: California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill Monday that would have allowed many non-citizen legal immigrants living the state to serve on juries. Brown said he could not support the bill, one of several passed by the legislature as part of a rapid expansion of immigrant rights in the state, because jury service is an obligation of citizenship.

Anarchist sentenced in bomb plot: A self-described anarchist found guilty of conspiring to destroy a bridge that runs through a park 30 miles south of Cleveland was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison. Joshua Stafford, 24, was the only one of five defendants in the bombing plot to take his case to trial. The men were accused of plotting in April 2012 to blow up a bridge that runs through Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

State warrant for Boston bombing suspect: A Massachusetts court issued an arrest warrant Monday for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as prosecutors sought to preserve their right to try him on state charges in the killing of a police officer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tsarnaev, 20, remains in custody after pleading not guilty to 30 federal charges stemming from the April 15 explosions, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

Prosecutors get Holmes’ mental health records: Prosecutors in the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings received defendant James Holmes’ mental health records Monday from the state hospital and the University of Colorado. Prosecutors are entitled to the records because Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murder and attempted-murder charges.

— From news services

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This was supposed to be the strongest Republican presidential field in memory, but cracks are showing. At Saturday night's debate, Marco Rubio withered in the face of unyielding attacks from Chris Christie, drawing attention to the biggest question about his candidacy: Is he ready to be president? How much the debate will affect Rubio's standing Tuesday is anybody's guess. But even if he does well, the question about his readiness to serve as president and to go up against Clinton, if she is the Democratic nominee, will linger.
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