Arizona voter suppression claims need to be investigated before November, according to critics
Are Arizona’s voter suppression claims surprising anyone? After Democrats in Arizona were either forced to stand in line for over six hours or unable to vote, many are crying out, voter suppression – but some people expected the chaos after the state decided to eliminate 160 polling centers to save money.
Democrats make Arizona voter suppression claims after thousands of voters stood in line for more than six hours, and about two dozens were turned away for being wrongly registered as independents or Republicans.
One of the reasons for the chaos, the long lines and the frustration for Arizona voters. There was an unexpected large voter turnout on the Democratic side.
However, the real culprits for the endless lines are Republican lawmakers, who in 2012, decided to decrease the 200 polling stations to 60 to save money.
Many politicians and civil rights activists are asking if this is happening during the primary, what will the presidential election look like in November?
While former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have not officially spoken out, Arizona Democrats are calling for the Department of Justice to investigate what caused some voters to wait in line for hours to participate in the primary.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton requested that Attorney General Loretta Lynch launch a federal investigation into the situation. Stanton said:
“Because of the unacceptably disparate distribution of polling locations, I respectfully request the U.S. Department of Justice investigate what took place in Maricopa County to ensure all voters are treated equally under the law.”
Lynch has not yet replied to the request, but Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, issued a statement via Twitter where he said the situation was “unacceptable,” and added:
“If people want to take the time to vote they should be able to, and their vote should be counted. Our election officials must evaluate what went wrong. And how they (can) make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego has also voiced his anger at a Phoenix press conference where he demanded that Republican state lawmakers make changes. He said:
“We need an independent investigation of what exactly happened, how did it happen, how are we going to prevent this in the future.”
He also stated:
“Let’s be clear — voter suppression happened on March 22. We don’t know at this point if it was by chance or by planning, but no matter what, there’s nothing we can do to deny that voter suppression happened,” he said. “Sitting and standing in line four to five hours to vote, even if you end up voting, is still voter suppression. And the fact that people are not questioning whether their vote is counted at all is also suppression.”
Gallego called on Ducey and his party to make changes before the 2016 presidential election to prevent similar problems.