Arizona Representative: “Let’s Be Clear – Voter Suppression Happened”

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The Arizona primary was a mess last week. Lines were so long people spent 4-5 hours, sometimes more, just waiting to cast their vote. The number of polling locations were more than cut in half from 2012. The were relatively no polling places in any densely-populated Latino communities, Democrats were mistakenly registered as independents, weird evacuations happened during peak voting hours, and news outlets were calling Hillary Clinton the winner while voters still waited in line to vote. The list goes on.

So it’s no wonder that both regular citizens and electioneer Arizona officials have called for an investigation into voter suppression. Governor Doug Ducey called the situation “unacceptable” and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton personally wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking for the Department of Justice to investigate.

Democrats in Arizona want the matter thoroughly investigated before the November election.

U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego stated at a press conference last week “Let’s be clear – voter suppression happened.” He further clarified saying that the issue is whether or not it was intentional.

A petition being sent to the White House is calling for signatures to conduct a “complete investigation to uncover the violations that occurred during the Arizona voting on 3/22/206 and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.” It currently has 100,000 signatures, which requires a response in 40 hours.

Maricopa County has a severe lack of polling stations. Recorder Helen Purcell has stated that she miscalculate the estimated number of needed polling stations, due to the fact that a large number of independents changed their status to Democrat in order to vote. Purcell doesn’t believe that voter suppression happened: “When you see people who are still willing to cast that vote and wait in line until well after the polls close, I don’t think that’s voter suppression.”

Bernie Sanders, who lost the Arizona primary, has called the situation a “disgrace” and hopes that “every state in this country learns from that and learns how to put together a proper election where people can come in and vote in a timely manner.”

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