Thursday, March 24, 2016

Arizona Voter Suppression is a Huge Issue For All Democrats

First of all, let's debunk any absurd, baseless notion that what happened on Tuesday in Arizona was some kind of Clinton/DNC conspiracy.
Clinton had a lot going for her in Arizona for plenty of reasons, so trying to diminish or even question her win because of what happened on election day is way off base. She would have won by a lot even if everything had gone completely smoothly.

What did happen is just plain ol' voter suppression by Arizona's Republican-led election officials... something that we are sadly getting used to by now because of what Scalia's Supreme Court did to 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.
This impacted voters across the county, but some more than others. There were predominantly Latino areas in Maricopa County with no polling places. “It is no coincidence many poor and predominantly Latino areas didn’t get a polling place,” wrote Arizona Republic columnist Elvia Diaz.
All Democrats (and all Americans for that matter) should join together and make it perfectly clear that this is completely unacceptable in Arizona and everywhere else across the country.

If I had to guess the motivation behind this particular situation, it would be that Republican officials in the state are terrified of Arizona turning blue in November...thereby adding to Hillary Clinton's electoral total and possibly sending a Democrat to the senate as well. But they gave away their crooked game early and it's blowing up in their faces. So if there is a silver lining, it's that this outrage is being called out now instead after the bigger election day later on.

Hopefully Arizona will solve this issue very soon...but to be on the safe side, I'd definitely suggest that all Democrats in the state consider early voting this fall.

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