The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Arizona primary's apparent election fraud last month.
The DOJ's civil rights division sent a letter to Maricopa County requesting information to determine whether the county complied with federal election law.
The amount of voter suppression Arizona voters experienced on Tuesday night may be unparalleled—the entire day of voting was a complete disaster, so much so that a class action election fraud lawsuit has been filed.
With less than 1 percent of the precincts reporting, the election was called within minutes for Hillary Clinton, while thousands of voters still waited in line—an extremely unethical move on the part of the cable networks, as it discouraged these voters to express their democratic voice.
Bernie Sanders was expecting a tight race, perhaps even a marginal win, yet shockingly saw initial numbers at 36 to Clinton’s 61 percent. By the end of the night, he had risen to 40 percent as she dropped to 58 percent.
Yet these figures are dubious for a myriad of reasons; there are numerous issues that led to the catastrophic voting night we witnessed.
Downsizing the number of polling locations
Thanks to County Recorder Helen Purcell, Arizona’s largest county—Maricopa County, home to Phoenix—saw its number of polling locations drop 70 percent, from 200 to 60 locations. This led to incredibly long lines as thousands of people were forced to all vote in an extremely limited number of polls.
4.1 million people live in Maricopa county, and there are over 1.9 million registered voters. To cram this many voters into only 60 locations is a horrifically undemocratic method of suppression.
Voters were forced to wait up to six hours in line, with people still standing in line at 1:30 a.m. Throughout the night, friendly onlookers delivered pizza and water; everyone was flabbergasted at the situation.
Almost 12am in Arizona and we have reports of more than 1000 people still waiting to vote at some of the polls. Yup! Oh Arizona...— Erika Andiola (@ErikaAndiola) March 23, 2016
An aunt and cousin just got their "I voted" stickers after 5 hours and 20 minutes in Phoenix.— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) March 23, 2016
This is utter insanity to be occurring in 2016.
Democrats Turned Away From The Polls
A shocking number of Democrats were turned away from the polls, some after waiting hours in line. Arizona is a closed primary for Democrats, which means that only voters registered as Democrat (not Independent) have the ability to vote in a primary. The deadline to switch registration was Feb. 22; however, thousands of voters found that even having abided by that deadline, the system did not identify them as a Democrat and thus, they were not allowed to vote.
Even more troubling, lifelong Democratic voters turned up at the polls to find that their registration had been switched to unaffiliated, Independent, Republican, or even Libertarian despite submitting no such changes.
All these individuals could only cast provisional ballots, which are only counted if the state orders a recount.
Multiple people recounted poll workers refusing to accept voter ID cards that showed a Democratic registration. When one woman looked into the situation at a county clerk’s office, she found that the computer contained a second registration in her name which showed her as unaffiliated, despite the fact that she had never submitted or signed for it.
These issues did not marginally affect the vote; it may have completely shifted it in Clinton’s favor.
According to US Uncut, “42-year-old Kelly Thornton, who worked as an Election Day Technician in Yavapai County…[said] roughly two-thirds of voters who came to her precinct had been mistakenly identified as independent by the election software. All of those voters were subsequently forced to cast a provisional ballot.”
2/3 of voters is a huge number, and it could completely change the game if these provisional ballots are counted. That reason is because…
County Numbers Don’t Add Up
According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, there were over 325,000 early votes submitted, which is why networks called the race so early for Clinton and where the initial 61-36 figure came from.
However, according to multiple news sources, Arizona also experienced record election day turnout—which means Maricopa County’s 2008 figure of 113,807 election day votes should have been surpassed.
Yet as of right now, Maricopa County is claiming only about 32,000 votes were cast on election day, which is ridiculous. Voter turnout far exceeded 2008, with enormous lines wrapping around blocks for hours.
|Election Day Voting Turnout||113,807||32,949|
|Paper Early Voting Turnout||140,729||185,638|
In Maricopa County, Sanders is actually beating Clinton with election day votes by a 60-40 percent margin—if this percentage were extrapolated to the 90,000 votes that seem to be missing from Maricopa, his overall percentage in the state would swing much higher.
Even throughout the state, Arizona is claiming only about 100,000 Democrats voted on election day, while numerous local news sources reported that there was Democratic turnout of about 800,000 votes total (which, discounting early votes, means about 400,000 people voted on election day).
Sanders’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, told Politico that there is “obviously something wrong with the numbers…We’ve seen lines in Arizona for five hours long literally. So based on CNN’s calculations and what we know about how many people early-voted, that would mean only 100,000 people came out and live-voted, Democrats in Arizona. I think that that’s just wrong.”
Addressing the Issue
Arizona’s Secretary of State has said that they will count provisional ballots by April 4. However, the likelihood of this actually occurring is minimal, considering Illinois claimed it would extend voting after experiencing election fraud but announced yesterday that it would not.
An election fraud lawsuit has been filed against Arizona, and a White House petition to investigate the voter suppression has about 55,000 signatures currently.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Sanders responded to the reports of fraudulency, declaring, "Whatever the cause of that problem is, people in the United States of America should not have to wait five hours in order to vote. We do not know how many thousands of people who wanted to vote yesterday in Arizona did not vote."
Regardless of whether Arizona addresses the fraud, the state of voting in America in 2016 is disgraceful if suppression such as this continues to occur.
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