There is still a lot of anger over the primary in Arizona. Having most of the polling locations closed and people waiting in line for hours to vote in hot temperatures sounds like a deliberate plan to most people. The pathetic excuses given by the Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, as well as the Secretary of State Michele Reagan, are ringing quite hollow as well.
The Washington Post reports:
That’s the question many of the thousands who waited for hours in the Phoenix area to vote last week are asking. Their answer largely depends on their politics and how much latitude they’re willing to give Arizona’s voting rights record.
The drama and finger-pointing about the much-maligned March 22 presidential primary in Arizona’s largest county isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. State officials are still investigating what went wrong and why it led to so much voter turmoil, and some are calling for a federal investigation.
First of all, Purcell is trying to say she made a big mistake by assuming that people would simply mail in their ballots. Then she pulls the Republican maneuver of blaming the legislature for not providing enough funding to hold an election. Excuse me? That is what Republicans are well known for these days– cutting funding and then acting all surprised when things fall apart while blaming all the wrong people.
Then she attempts to shift blame for the long lines to the Independent voters who “didn’t realize” that this was a preferential vote only for the party candidates. Apparently there was also not enough effort was made to inform voters that they had to have a party affiliation to vote in this election. Those pitiful excuses were not well received by a pissed off populace who has demanded the resignations of officials.
Secondly, there seems to be a history of “mistakes” in Arizona elections which made people, especially Latinos, not even want to mail in their ballots. Especially after the fiasco of the 2012 elections that retained Joe Arpaio as the sheriff of Maricopa County. Quite a few of the mailed in ballots weren’t even counted until at least a month later in 2012, so it is no wonder people are calling shenanigans.
It also appears that most of the polling locations that were cut happened to be in areas with a large minority population. That right there is a definite red flag no matter what state it happens in. Thanks to the Supreme Court gutting the Voting Rights Act, these kinds of “issues” are going to be cropping up a lot more in the future. That 5-4 decision invalidates Section 5 of the Voting Rights Law, the most important tool for fighting racial discrimination in voting. It definitely handed conservatives a massive victory, because we all know that conservatives want to keep people who refuse to vote for them away from the ballot box at all costs.
Conservatives have proven that they are only out for whatever gives them power, control, and fattens their wallets. What remain to be seen is when the citizens are going to get completely fed up and vote them out of power completely.