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Arizona: Widespread Reports of Voter Suppression in Tuesday’s Primary

HeadlineMar 24, 2016

In Arizona, voters are calling on Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell to resign, following widespread accusations of voter suppression during Tuesday’s primary election. At multiple polling sites, voters waited in massive lines that topped more than five hours. Some sites also ran out of ballots. The voting fiasco comes after Maricopa County, which contains the city of Phoenix, cut the number of polling places from more than 200 sites to only 60. Phoenix is one of the most racially diverse cities in Arizona. On Wednesday, dozens of voters gathered outside the county elections office to call for Purcell’s resignation. Local voter Virginia Gallegos spoke out.

Virginia Gallegos: “What about the elderly people that were standing in line for four hours? There were two people behind me that stood there for four-and-a-half hours, and they were close to getting their ballots, but they couldn’t hold up any longer. They just gave up and left. The people in front of us also didn’t get their [ballots in the mail]. OK, so this is what you call democracy? I call it voter suppression.”

More than 80,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Obama administration to investigate voter fraud in Tuesday’s election. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a news conference Wednesday, calling the Arizona election a “disgrace.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “In the United States of America, democracy is the foundation of our way of life. People should not have to wait five hours to vote. And what happened yesterday in Arizona is a disgrace. I hope 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 and then go back to work.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the Tuesday primary in Arizona.

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