Rhetoric tells us that “every vote counts.” This should be true. The Republican party’s systematic voter suppression proves rhetoric wrong, though. Arizona has been shaken up since their primary polling on March 22nd, and now the lawsuit is flying – with support from both the Sanders and Clinton Campaigns.
Maricopa County has the highest populous of all counties in the state. In 2012 Maricopa had more than 200 polling locations available and approximately 400,000 less voters than this year. In 2016 the county had only 60 polling sites open. Some voters reported standing in line for up to and over 5 hours.
— Ricardo Cano (@Ricardo_Cano1) March 23, 2016
County officials also neglected to comment on the suppression of Latino votes in the county. More than 40 percent of Phoenix’s 1.5 million population is Latino:
“In my district, there is only one polling place,’’ said Democratic State Senator Martin Quezada to AZcentral.com “In my neighboring district, LD 30, there are no polling places.”
Those who were actually able to get into polling site after long lines still faced issues. The election software seemed to have misidentified citizens with incorrect parties. Reports of life-long democrats listed as “no party,” independent, or even Libertarian flowed in. Provisional ballots were handed out to the majority of voters.
Voters state and country wide are enraged over the failure of democracy. The Democratic National Committee is filing a lawsuit against the state of Arizona. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the state Democratic Party, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate campaign and primary voters are also participating in the lawsuit.
LIVE: Voters condemn last night's ling voter lines. pic.twitter.com/BtA7d3oYFE
— YvonneWingettSanchez ? (@yvonnewingett) March 23, 2016
The lawsuit names Arizona Sec. of State Michele Reagan, and Maricopa County Reporter Helen Purcell as defendants. The suit alleges that the misconduct of election officials are to blame for outrageous lines, and rejected provisional ballots, especially the ballots of Hispanic voters. Both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns have joined the lawsuit:
“The handling of the primary election in Arizona was a disgrace. People should not have to wait in line for five hours to vote,” Said Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver. “How many people were turned away? What happened in Arizona is part of a pattern of voter disenfranchisement by Republicans.”
Debbie Wasserman Shultz, DNC Chairwoman, believes the Republican party will continue with this level of fraud unless action is taken now:
“Republicans are using every tool, every legal loophole and every fear tactic they can think of to take aim at voting rights wherever they can…And what they’re aiming at is clear — they want nothing less than to disenfranchise voting groups who are inconvenient to them on Election Day.”
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