Thu Mar 24, 2016, 09:59 AM

There Were 5-Hour Lines to Vote in Arizona Because the Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act

The long lines on Tuesday in Arizona were due to Jim Crow Roberts gutting the Voting Rights Act http://www.thenation.com/article/there-were-five-hour-lines-to-vote-in-arizona-because-the-supreme-court-gutted-the-voting-rights-act/

Election officials said they reduced the number of polling sites to save money—an ill-conceived decision that severely inconvenienced hundreds of thousands of voters. Previously, Maricopa County would have needed to receive federal approval for reducing the number of polling sites, because Arizona was one of 16 states where jurisdictions with a long history of discrimination had to submit their voting changes under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. This type of change would very likely have been blocked since minorities make up 40 percent of Maricopa County’s population and reducing the number of polling places would have left minority voters worse off. Section 5 blocked 22 voting changes from taking effect in Arizona since the state was covered under the VRA in 1975 for discriminating against Hispanic and Native American voters.

But after the Supreme Court gutted the VRA in 2013, Arizona could make election changes without federal oversight. The long lines in Maricopa County last night were the latest example of the disastrous consequences of that decision.

“We are outraged at long lines for Arizona primary,” The Arizona Republic wrote in a sharply worded editorial. The paper told stories of voters who left without casting a ballot because of the long lines.

Here’s what one Maricopa County voter wrote to us:

“I literally went to multiple polling places, a total of FIVE separate times, only to find that the 1 hour wait (which I didn’t have time for this morning) only increased as the day went on. Eventually, I gave up at 6:40 p.m. when I saw the line at its longest, at least 2-3 hours. This was the first time in my life I genuinely felt disenfranchised.”...

The 2016 election is the first in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA. Widespread voting problems during the primaries in states like Arizona and North Carolina are a disturbing preview of what could happen in November.

“Disenfranchised” was a flash word on Tuesday. Many voters used it.
....The 2016 election is the first in 50 years without the full protections of the VRA. Widespread voting problems during the primaries in states like Arizona and North Carolina are a disturbing preview of what could happen in November.

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Reply There Were 5-Hour Lines to Vote in Arizona Because the Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act (Original post)
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 OP
Slayer Mar 2016 #1
metroins Mar 2016 #4
Slayer Mar 2016 #6
metroins Mar 2016 #7
Slayer Mar 2016 #8
Gr8Daze Mar 2016 #9
Appalachian Man Mar 2016 #2
Jenny Fromdablock Mar 2016 #3
the more you know Mar 2016 #5
Gr8Daze Mar 2016 #10
the more you know Mar 2016 #12
graham4anything4HC45 Mar 2016 #11
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 #13
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 #14
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 #15
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 #16
Letmypeoplevote Mar 2016 #17
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2016 #18
Letmypeoplevote Apr 2016 #19

Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 10:12 AM

1. I have serveral different opinions on this.


We did this here in Ohio. And I love it. Used to be you had to go to your polling place find your precinct and check in at your table. I can't tell you how many times the line was out the door for one precinct and the other 4 tables were sitting around doing nothing. We reduced the number of people needed and it was a very smooth operation. The building custodian of our polling location timed the line when it was the longest on two occasions. 11 minutes from the time people entered the line until they exited the building.

Okay my other opinion. From my observations the neophyte sanders supporters don't seem to have a grasp on how things work. You know registering and party affiliation and so on. Had we been inundated with a bunch of provisional voters we could have easily looked as bad as Arizona did. But since Ohio (obviously) wasn't feeling the Bern we didn't have to worry. We just had the garden variety, moved since I voted last time, voters and they were helped as quickly as we could. Had several 17 year olds as well, that was cool. I was proud to help facilitate several first time voters! And on another side note. I have no idea what that lawsuit was about here in Ohio. I had training weeks in advance and we were already instructed to let qualified 17 year olds vote. We went through the procedure. (Special color forms, which had already been printed), I was going to post that here but was on time out at the time, sigh.

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Response to Slayer (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 10:48 AM

4. I think the AZ problem was

The reduced number of polling places.

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Response to metroins (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:01 AM

6. It sounds like they went over board on that.


I don't remember the number here exactly, maybe a 20% reduction. I wonder why the Cruz supporters aren't crying like sanders supporters? They had to wait in the same lines did they not?

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Response to Slayer (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:09 AM

7. Well that's what I thought too.

The voting lines affected all.

I do not know why people are blaming HRC.

Maybe the lines were predominately in historically Democratic districts? I don't live in AZ, so I dunno. Whatever it is, voting should be easier and not difficult. Everybody should be calling for an easier voting process.

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Response to metroins (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:32 AM

8. I agree whole heartedly.


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Response to Slayer (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:33 AM

9. Well it pays educate your supporters

And the Sanders campaign obviously did not do that. I can tell you the Clinton campaign is on top of this stuff. Right down to emailing and snail mailing individual voting location info to its supporters. It's ametuer hour with the Sanders campaign apparently.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 10:22 AM

2. The GOP position is that if everybody possesses a photo ID voting will not be problematic...

But they have planned for this scenario. Slash the number of polling precincts in heavily populated urban areas with high concentrations of minorities, thereby discouraging people from voting by creating ridiculously long lines, in many cases forcing people to wait 5,6, or more hours to cast a ballot. Republican legislators who engage in passing these voter suppression tactics are evil, anti-American aholes.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 10:36 AM

3. Had nothing to do with all of the other suppression tactics

Funny...you had us all believing you were against voter suppression. Turns out that you're one of the biggest supporters of it. You've proven it here time and time again.



- Clear voter suppression in Latino neighborhoods
- Democrats registered as independents given wrong ballots
- Suspicious evacuations of buildings at peak voting times
- Calling Arizona for Hillary while thousands haven't voted yet
- 5 hour wait time due to lack of polling stations


Hundreds of thousands of votes weren't counted when it was declared for Hillary. The Hillary campaign knew young kids wouldn't stand in line for four hours. Hillary suppressed the vote in Arizona. The Bernie campaign is calling her out on it.

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office says it drastically cut the number of sites for two reasons: to save money and because it expected not to need many sites since requests for early voting ballots were up substantially from years past.

But what the office apparently didn’t account for was a huge surge in voter turnout – the county is estimating that 60 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

Voters also reported substantial issues at the polls today. At least one polling site ran out of ballots this afternoon, and many Democrats reported waiting in line for hours only to be told that they were not registered as Democrats, meaning that if they wanted to vote they could only have a provisional ballot that may or may not be counted.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 10:58 AM

5. Do you ever tire or spreading lies?

You support voter suppression.

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Response to the more you know (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:38 AM

10. Wake up - republicans suck

Because they do shit like this.

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Response to Gr8Daze (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 12:15 PM

12. Wake up, Republicans didn't fuck over these people... Hillary Clinton did

because she's a corrupt hack and her supporters are sleazy pieces of shit.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 11:44 AM

11. Sounds like 90% of the people who didn't get to vote would have for Hillary

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 03:21 PM

13. The long lines in Arizona were due to the gutting of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act

The long lines here are in part due to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the SCOTUS which Clinton wants to restore http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2016/03/22/long-lines-bog-down-arizona-presidential-primary/

Long lines were expected all day at polling places, Maricopa County Elections Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Bartholomew said.

Lines snaked up to almost every one of the 60 polling sites across the county, with the exception of remote locations such as Gila Bend or Wickenburg. The county cut the number of polling sites for this year’s presidential primary from 200 in 2012 mainly as a money-saving measure.

In addition, the majority of voters get mail-in ballots, and independents who can’t vote make up more than a third of the electorate.
“All we can do is thank them for their patience,” Bartholomew said of voters enduring the delays.
read more: http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2016/03/22/long-lines-bog-down-arizona-presidential-primary/#ixzz43kC9reof
Prior to the gutting of the voting rights act by the SCOTUS Arizona was a covered jurisdiction and the Federal govt. would get to approve the cuts in the number of voting locations

Evan WylogeVerified account
I wonder if the number of polling places we have in Maricopa County today would have been OK’d under VRA Sect.5. Good thing that’s gone.
We need to restore the Voting Rights Act to keep these type of voter suppression tactics from being used. If Arizona was still a covered jurisdiction under the Voting Rights Act, there would have been no cuts in voting locations.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 05:40 PM

14. According to Prof. Hasen, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act led to long line

Here are some fun facts from Prof. Hasen for the conservatives to ignore or not be able to understand http://electionlawblog.org/?p=81186

The other day, while voting was taking place in AZ, I had a post entitled Would Long Lines at AZ Polling Places Have Happened if #SCOTUS Hadn’t Killed Voting Rights Act Provision? My point was that Maricopa County’s decision to cut the number of polling places by 2/3 would not have been possible before the Supreme Court decided the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder case because to do so Arizona, which had been covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, would have had to demonstrate (and likely would not have been able to demonstrate) that doing so would not have made protected minority voters in Maricopa County (lots of Latino and Native American voters) worse off. So this review would have made a big difference.

Which brings me to my point today. Section 5 worked not only to stop intentional minority vote suppression but also bureaucratic incompetence. The election administrator of Maricopa County, Helen Purcell, made a decision to cut polling places apparently to save money (there is always pressure from state and local governments to skimp on resources for election administration), and partially out a mistaken vast underestimation of election day turnout.

Now people want off with Purcell’s head, claiming intentional voter suppression. People are angry, and justifiably so. Bernie Sanders said that waiting 5 hours to vote is a disgrace. (He’s right.) Here’s Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias saying that both Sanders and Clinton voters were disadvantaged (all voters were); here’s the mayor of Phoenix (rightfully) calling for a DOJ investigation. Purcell did not help herself by giving an interview where the first person she blamed for long lines was “the voters:”

“Just to start, obviously you’ve heard of all the frustration. Who is to blame for this, these long lines?” Purcell was asked.

“Well, the voters for getting in line, maybe us for not having enough voting places,” she replied.
Purcell has since apologized.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 07:08 PM

15. What happened in Arizona wasn’t an accident: When states make voting impossible, it’s for a very cle

The GOP is the party of voter suppression http://www.salon.com/2016/03/24/what_happened_in_arizona_wasnt_an_accident_when_states_make_voting_impossible_its_for_a_very_clear_reason/

Once again, an American election was unnecessarily thwarted by long lines and not enough ballots. To say there’s no excuse for such nonsense, especially in a nation that prides itself on its representative democracy and, yes, its exceptionalism, is understating the problem. This time around, it happened during the Arizona primary where countless voters were forced to stand in lines for hours, while others were told they weren’t registered in the first place.

In Maricopa County alone, election officials infuriatingly reduced the number of polling places by 70 percent. Such a drastic reduction meant there was only one polling place per 21,000 residents of the highly populated Phoenix metroplex. Officials including County Recorder Helen Purcell (a Republican) said the cutbacks were due to budgetary concerns. Uh-huh. Of course, I doubt members of either party who were forced to wait in five-hour lines would’ve minded the additional expense to facilitate our most basic right as Americans. Elsewhere, independent voters who switched their registration to the Democratic Party were allegedly told they hadn’t registered at all, forcing them to sit out the closed primary.

It’s yet another example of why the federal government should take over the election process. Local and state officials are clearly in too far over their heads to handle a task of this magnitude, as evidenced by the reality that every time we hold an election in this country, one numbskull or another flummoxes the whole thing — intentionally or not.

“Intentionally” is an appropriate word here since many of the electoral shenanigans at the state level are, indeed, intentional.

Voter ID laws and punitive voter purges have been the centerpieces of a Republican strategy to rig modern elections. Republicans in nearly half of all states have managed to pass laws that make it more difficult for lower-income Democratic voters to cast ballots, forcing former Attorney General Eric Holder to compare such measures to the poll taxes used in the Jim Crow-era South in order to suppress the Black vote.. This is absolutely by design, even if some Republicans are caught in the meat grinder, too. The lower the turnout, the better Republicans fare in elections, so while voter ID laws tend to disenfranchise Democrats, the intention is more specifically to elect Republicans.

Thirty-three states boast one form of voter ID or another. Texas has perhaps the most ridiculous such law. If you don’t have one of the required forms of identification in the Lone Star State, you’ll have to apply for an Election Identification Certificate (EIC). But in order to get an EIC, you have to present your proof of citizenship and a second form of identification. Yes, that’s right, you’ll need to get an ID in order to get an ID — one of many reasons why this law is so completely absurd. And all of this on top of the normal voter registration process (which only requires a Social Security Number). If you don’t have a mandatory ID issued by the TxDPS (Texas Department of Public Safety), it might be because 70 counties don’t have a TxDPS office.

The GOP excuse for these laws? It’s voter fraud, they say. But how often do voters attempt to scam the system? Among all federal elections between 2002 and 2005, the rate of voter fraud was 0.00000013 percent. This according to a five-year probe by George W. Bush’s Justice Department. Put another way, around 26 people out of 197 million were convicted of attempting to vote illegally during all of those elections. And yet the Republicans continue to screech about voter fraud anyway. (They’re willing to believe that voter fraud exists, even though it doesn’t, and yet the climate crisis, with its 97 percent scientific consensus, is clearly fiction.)

Elsewhere, in Ohio, the Republican Secretary of State uncovered a possible 20 cases of voter fraud during the 2012 election out of 5.6 million votes cast. That’s 0.00035 percent of the vote. In Iowa, the Republican Secretary of State found a possible eight cases out of 1.5 million votes cast. That’s 0.00053 percent of the vote. In Wisconsin, possible fraud amounted to 0.00023 percent of the vote. But up to nine percent of voters will be disenfranchised by voter ID laws. That’s like using a nuclear missile to kill a gnat — and then entirely missing the gnat because, it turns out, voter IDs wouldn’t have prevented the possible fraud cases in the first place.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Mar 24, 2016, 08:13 PM

16. Maricopa County Cuts Number Of Polling Places From 200 To 60, Chaos Ensues

The voting rights act could have prevented this http://crooksandliars.com/2016/03/cutting-back-polling-places-not-key

Independent voters aside, it's ridiculous that a county with 6 million voters in it would have 60 polling places, early voting or not.

AZ Central:

Maricopa County shifted to 60 polling places — down from the 200-plus in use during the 2012 presidential primary — as a cost-saving move and to reflect the reduced demand for in-person voting as the number of voters who mail in their ballots continues to rise. In 2008, there were 400 polling places.

In contrast to four years ago, voters also could go to any of the 60 county polling sites. Four years ago, voters had to go to a designated polling place for their vote to count.

“It saves a lot of money,” said Elizabeth Bartholomew, communications manager for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, which conducted the election. “And there are fewer people who vote.”

Only people registered with the Democratic, Green or Republican parties were eligible to vote in Tuesday's primary. In Maricopa County, that pencils out to 1.25 million eligible voters, compared with the 2 million who are registered overall.

The county identified the 60 sites used as polling places by looking at areas with high mail-in ballot returns, and tried to get several sites in every major city. Phoenix had 12. Mesa had four. Cities on the edges of the county, such as Wickenburg and Gila Bend, had one site each.

But county officials appeared to miscalculate the level of enthusiasm for primary races that had not yet been sewn up. Other counties didn't have problems with long lines, but also had more polling places. In Pima County, there were 130 sites for one-quarter as many voters as went to the polls in Maricopa County.
There's no excuse for that. It's shameful.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 03:16 PM

17. Maricopa County, Arizona, can't afford elections, but MLB team wants taxpayers to upgrade stadium

The County did not want to spend money for people to vote but may fund a stadium expansion or two http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/27/1506540/-Maricopa-Co-can-t-afford-elections-but-the-MLB-team-wants-taxpayers-to-upgrade-their-stadium

This week the Arizona legislature will open hearings into the clusterfuck that took place in Maricopa County last Tuesday, usually referred to as the Arizona primary, although technically ours is not a primary—it’s the Presidential Preference Election.

Protesters will also gather at the capitol (signs are posted downtown), demanding an end to Republican-led voter suppression. There’s a reason Arizona was subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, along with a handful of mostly racist southern states. Old-timers will remember a young Phoenix lawyer named William Rehnquist, who hung out at the polls and questioned people of color. There’s a history here and it’s coming back. Since 2013, when the Supremes gutted Section 5, Arizona’s extremist legislature, run by bigots, fundamentalists and the chamber of commerce, has only acted to make voting harder, never to make the right easier. Only more discrimination, never less.

Instead of getting easier, it is getting harder and harder to participate on election day. What for previous generations was a celebration of democracy has devolved into drudgery that erodes confidence in the outcome.
In addition to last week’s shit sandwich, Gov. Ducey just signed a bill that outlaws ballot harvesting, a practice that tends to help Democrats, minority districts, the poor and disabled. Republicans gripe about voter fraud, but there’s never been a verified case of wrongdoing. Sure, there’s a lot of GOP-planted suspicion and rumor, mostly about (surprise!) young brown people collecting ballots. During debate on the bill Republicans admitted there’s no fraud, but said the law is still necessary because people think there might be fraud. Okaaaaay. Others said the practice, being legal, invites fraud. That’s a whole other diary right there. Sometimes I think these bozos are too stupid to insult.

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2016, 07:25 PM

18. The DOJ Is Investigating Arizona’s Election Mess

Here is some good news http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/justice-department-arizona_us_5702b720e4b083f5c6085933?utm_hp_ref=politics

WASHINGTON — The federal government is investigating Arizona’s most populous county after its dramatic decrease in voting sites led to long lines during the state’s primary last month.

Elizabeth Bartholomew, communications manager for the the Recorder’s Office in Maricopa County, said the office received a letter from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Friday. Bartholomew said the feds want specific data about the office’s reason for cutting the number of polling places. She said the office “absolutely” plans to cooperate with the investigation and to provide federal officials with the requested information in the coming weeks.

“We have no problem cooperating with them, so we should have that over to them over the next couple of weeks,” she told The Huffington Post on Monday.

The county cut its voting sites from 200 during the 2012 presidential primary to just 60 for this year’s March 22 primary. Some Arizona voters reported waiting in line for five hours to cast their ballot, long after the GOP race was called for reality television star Donald Trump and the Democratic primary was called for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell (R), who is in charge of the county’s elections, partially blamed “the voters, for getting in line,” but later admitted that the county made “bad decisions” and “miscalculated” how many voting sites it would need.

County officials argued earlier this year that having fewer sites would save money. Purcell recommended that the county’s Board of Supervisors reduce the number of polling sites because her office suspected more people would vote early by mail. However, fewer people voted by mail than the office had predicted.

The county probably wouldn’t have been able to cut as many polling places as it did if the full force of the Voting Rights Act was still in effect; the Supreme Court gutted the landmark civil rights legislation in a controversial 5-4 decision in 2013. Before that ruling, states with a long history of racial discrimination, such as Arizona, were required to get permission from the DOJ or in federal court to change their election procedures or laws. States asking for approval of their proposed election changes had to show that such measures wouldn’t leave voters of color worse off.

But, as Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) pointed out in a letter asking the DOJ to investigate the county, Maricopa “distributed fewer polling locations to parts of the county with higher minority populations.”

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Response to Letmypeoplevote (Original post)

Thu Apr 14, 2016, 04:02 PM

19. Dems, Clinton Campaign To Sue Arizona Over Primary Election Mess

This will be fun to watch http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/dems-clinton-campaign-sue-arizona

A federal lawsuit led by the Democratic Party and the Hilary Clinton campaign will be filed Friday challenging Arizona's election practices that allegedly led to long wait times in the primary contest last month, the Washington Post reported.

The complaint will accuse Arizona of having an "alarmingly inadequate number of voting centers" that "resulted in severe, inexcusable burdens on voters county-wide, as well as the ultimate disenfranchisement of untold numbers of voters who were unable or unwilling to wait in intolerably long lines,” the Post said.

It will zero in on Maricopa County, Arizona's most populous county, where the 200-plus polling precincts had been replaced with about 60 vote centers, and residents reported waiting in lines as long as five hours.

The Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Arizona Democratic Party and several Arizonans are filing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Phoenix, where they'll ask the court to examine the plans for polling places in November's general election. The Clinton campaign will join after it is filed, the Post said. The lawsuit was organized by Marc Elias, her campaign lawyer and voting rights attorney who has brought a number of other elections-related lawsuits elsewhere.

The lawsuit will also ask the court to stop other voting regulations put forward by the state that it says have a "dramatic and disparate impact” on minority voters, according to the Post.

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