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Thread: AZ. Gov. Doug Ducey demands change after long polling place lines

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    AZ. Gov. Doug Ducey demands change after long polling place lines

    Gov. Doug Ducey demands change after long polling place lines

    abc15.com staff
    8:14 AM, Mar 23, 2016
    1 hour ago

    Autoplay:X
    Gov. Ducey Demands Change After Long Polling Lines





    KNXV


    PHOENIX - Did you stand in line to vote yesterday? If you did, you probably were not very happy.

    Gov. Doug Ducey was apparently not pleased with the long lines either and released a statement on Wednesday morning.


    Gov. Ducey released the following statement:


    “Voting is one of our most important rights and responsibilities, and yesterday, a record number of Arizonans turned out to cast their choice for president. I’m glad to see so many Arizonans step up to make their voice heard for the candidate of their choice. However, it’s unacceptable that many of them had to battle incredibly long lines. Our election officials must evaluate what went wrong and how they make sure it doesn’t happen again.


    "One way we can fix things is to simplify them.

    That means allowing independents to vote in presidential primaries, just as they vote in all other Arizona primaries. A big part of yesterday's problem was registered voters showing up, and being told they couldn’t vote.

    That's just wrong. If people want to take the time to vote they should be able to, and their vote should be counted."


    Voters from North Scottsdale to South Phoenix experienced long waits -- in some cases more than two hours -- to cast their Presidential Preference Election ballots on Tuesday.


    "I don't have time to stand for an hour in the hot sun," voter Sarah Howes said.


    RELATED: Maricopa County Recorder: Blame me for election issues


    Election officials say several things contributed to Tuesday's problems:


    Because there are competitive races on both Republican and Democratic sides of the presidential race, turnout was much higher than normal. Between 60 and 65 percent of eligible voters were expected to vote on Tuesday.


    Voter confusion
    also played a factor. Voters who did not pre-register with a party affiliation by the February deadline were not eligible to participate; however, many non-affiliated voters insisted on filing provisional ballots which take longer to process at the polling places.


    This year, Maricopa County also consolidated polling locations to just 60 this time. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell says the decision to consolidate was based on cost savings and other factors.


    The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office says the decrease in polling places had to do with the number of early voters and the number of registered Independent voters.


    There are only 1.25 million eligible voters for Tuesday’s election and 890,000 early ballots were sent out, leaving about 300,000 voters who would need to show up to polling places.


    The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office also says a majority of voters are Independents, meaning that a majority of voters wouldn’t have been allowed to cast a vote on Tuesday.


    "It's almost like they want to disenfranchise us; I don't think it's right," Scott Richardson said. "I'm going to vote against her when she runs again.

    Helen Purcell shouldn't be elected again."


    ABC15 asked Purcell, after the criticism she's received, if she'd do it the same way next time.


    "We will have polling places like this," Purcell said. "Maybe, we will have more. Maybe we will look at the locations. Maybe it's better located some place else. Maybe in certain locations we will have more. Maybe we can have a larger place where we can put more electronic poll books and more people."

    http://www.abc15.com/news/state/gov-...ng-place-lines

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Wow. What a shame! And something went wrong in Utah too. Long lines and confusion over the online voting, apparently there was a deadline a lot of people didn't know about.

    Well, when I voted in North Carolina, everything went smooth as silk. No lines, no waiting, no confusion, simply wonderful! Thank you North Carolina for looking out for your voters and making it a nice and pleasant experience like it should be.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    North Carolina Voters Condemn Voter Discrimination during North Carolina’s Primary

    For Immediate Release
    Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
    March 23, 2016

    DURHAM, N.C.This afternoon, North Carolina voters and voting rights advocates hosted a press call to discuss the voting discrimination that occurred during last week’s primary, and to release a series of videos featuring North Carolina voters who were denied the right to vote by H.B 589 in 2014.

    Since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 and freed North Carolina from federal oversight, the state has been a leader in pushing through laws intended to disenfranchise minority voters.

    Speakers on the call discussed the documented voting discrimination that occurred during last week’s primary vote, current litigation about the state’s voting laws, and the state’s recent history of voting discrimination.

    The Leadership Conference also released this series of new testimonial videos today, featuring five North Carolina voters who have experienced voting discrimination.
    Click here to listen to an MP3 recording of the call.

    Below are quotes from the call.

    Allison Riggs, staff attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice

    “Ever since we lost the VRA, every day in North Carolina has been a struggle to ensure that all eligible voters are guaranteed their constitutional right to vote. We have been challenging these voter suppression efforts in federal and state court for the last three years, and have come across countless people who have been disenfranchised. Voters, especially people of color, face hurdles and challenges every day down here. We need the extra protection of the VRA.”

    Linda Blue, whose mother was denied the right to vote in this year’s primary election


    “We had a terrible experience trying to help my mother vote. She has been voting practically all her life – we know she is registered to vote, and she is in the system, but they gave her a hard time. My mother is 82 years-old. She remembers the times when she had to get to the back of the line to let the white people go first.

    This is really a slap in the face for her.”

    Bob Hall, executive director of Democracy North Carolina


    “We’ve deployed over 700 voter protectors across the state to take incident reports and refer people to the hotline we created.

    Over the period from early voting to Election Day that hotline got over 1,000 calls. The complexity of the new voter ID laws and the variety of exceptions has turned our election system into a bureaucratic nightmare. You’d think constitutional lawmakers would find that repulsive, but unless these laws changed we know we’ll be seeing more of these kinds of problems and more voters being disenfranchised.”

    Rev. Moses Colbert, a N.C. voter denied the right to vote due to repeal of same-day registration in 2014.
    Click here to watch a video of Rev. Colbert’s testimony.

    “In 2014 I was denied the right to vote because I had moved from a different county and as a result I was told I wasn’t registered. I am only in the third generation out from slavery in my family. I know the importance of having the right to vote because of where I come from.”

    Penda Hair, co-director of the Advancement Project and attorney for the NC NAACP


    “During this year’s primary in North Carolina, we saw the exact type of electoral chaos that happens when politicians manipulate the voting system for their own gain. It is our conclusion that the voter suppression tactics included in North Carolina’s voting law, H.B. 589, contributed to long lines and rampant confusion. ...Unless Congress passes the Voting Rights Advancement Act, we will continue to have to address the issues on a case-by-case basis that the Department of Justice used to be able to prevent proactively under Section 5.”

    http://www.civilrights.org/press/201...-carolina.html
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Students Are Being Rejected From The Polls Because Of North Carolina’s Voter ID Law

    BY KIRA LERNER MAR 15, 2016 11:42 AM

    CREDIT: AP PHOTO/GERRY BROOME
    Members of North Carolina student chapters of the NAACP and opponents of voter ID legislation wear tape over their mouths while sitting silently in the gallery of the House chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly where lawmakers debated and voted on voter identification legislation in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

    North Carolina’s controversial voter identification law is being used for the first time in Tuesday’s primary, and registered voters are experiencing the consequences of the voter suppression measure.

    About 218,000 North Carolinians, roughly five percent of registered voters, do not have an acceptable form of government-issued ID that is now required under state law to cast a ballot.


    Early voting offered a glimpse of the problems that will arise on Tuesday — during the past ten days of early voting, many college students were blocked from the polls. North Carolina’s WRAL reported that 864 people across the state had cast provisional early ballots because they did not have acceptable forms of ID, and four of the five counties with the highest concentrations of provisional ballots from voters without ID were in places with college campuses.


    Bob Hall, the executive director of Democracy North Carolina, told ThinkProgress that the voter protection hotline is receiving many calls, “disproportionately from young people and students,” who are being told they do not have acceptable ID, so they have to “go through the maze of filling out forms” and provisional ballots. Those ballots run the risk of being challenged and not being counted.


    We’re going right back to this message of ‘elections are not for you.’
    “Because this is so much affecting young people, we’re teaching them the wrong lesson about democracy and about voting,” Hall said. “We’re really pushing them away from being involved in the political process, and that’s a bad message, but it is the message that’s coming across.”

    Under current North Carolina law, people who have registered to vote within 90 days of Election Day can use an out-of-state ID to vote – an important provision for students who may attend school away from their home state. But those who registered more than 90 days before Election Day and do not have a North Carolina ID are being forced to cast provisional ballots.


    University of North Carolina sophomore Isatta Feika had to cast a provisional ballot because of her out-of-state ID. She told WRAL she likely won't vote in North Carolina again after experiencing the hassles involving voting without an ID in North Carolina.

    "I'm probably just going to register in Georgia and absentee vote there," she said.


    Elderly voters told the Nation's Ari Berman how the voter ID law imposes similar barriers to voting to what they experienced in the Jim Crow South.

    Rosanell Eaton, a 94-year-old voter, had to recite the Preamble to Constitution to vote in North Carolina in the 1940s. Last year, she had to make 11 trips to state agencies to comply with the voter ID law.


    ”We had 100 years of pushing away people from the polls,” Hall said about North Carolina. “It was really only in the early 21st century, after 2000, that our participation started to come up, and now we’re going right back to this message of ‘elections are not for you.’”


    Like in South Carolina, voters without ID can cast a provisional ballot if they have a "reasonable impediment" to getting photo ID, including lack of proper documents, work schedule, or family obligations. But unlike South Carolina, the impediments voters can list are limited and will not cover any voter without ID. Early voting data has shown that while black voters make up 22 percent of the state's voting population, they account for 26 percent of those who said they had a reasonable impediment for not having an acceptable ID.


    Some of the state’s restrictive voting measures are not in place on Tuesday, but will go into effect before November’s general election. North Carolina voters are permitted to vote outside their normal precinct on Tuesday because of a court injunction, but this stipulation will not be in place in November because it was eliminated by Republican-engineered legislation.

    Hall noted that it is likely to disenfranchise many voters in November -- even this year, voters are being rejected from voting at other precincts because of confusion by poll workers.


    After this Election Day, same day registration will also be eliminated in North Carolina. Hall said he saw “thousands of voters in the early voting period whose right to vote was protected through the use of same day registration, so when that does get repealed, it will have a big impact.”


    The state’s voter ID law, part of a sweeping election reform law passed in 2013, is still being challenged in both federal and state court. Also pending in federal court are challenges to new laws that restrict the early voting period, eliminate pre-registration of teenagers before they turn 18 and same-day registration during early voting, and block people from voting outside their assigned precincts.


    An appeal to that lawsuit could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/20...lina-voter-id/
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Oh that is such a shame. I guess it depends on the county more than the state.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Wow! So great to hear Governor Ducey responding! We will alert our supporters to this since so many of our activists contacted Ducey's offices election night per our request...

    http://www.alipac.us/f8/media-adviso...ounted-330487/


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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senator who waited 5 hours to vote wants Legislature to address problems

    Alia Beard Rau, The Republic | azcentral.com
    7:17 a.m. MST March 24, 2016





    VOTING PROBLEMS IN MARICOPA COUNTYTake a tour of a long poll line | 00:50Here's what one of the longer lines in Maricopa County looked like on the afternoon of Arizona's presidential preference election.




    (Photo: Courtney Pedroza/The Republic)


    A Republican state senator who said she spent more than five hours waiting to vote in the presidential preference election -- casting her ballot at 12:20 a.m. Wednesday -- plans to introduce legislation to assure Arizona voters won't endure similar waits in the future.
    Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, said she will in the next few days propose an amendment to a yet-undetermined election bill that would require Maricopa and Pima counties to operate a minimum number of polling locations. She said she is working with county officials to determine what an appropriate minimum would be, but said the 60 sites Maricopa County provided were clearly not enough.

    Tuesday's 60 polling places were down from more than 200 provided for the 2012 presidential primary, and 400 for the 2008 primary. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in February approved the number, on the advice of Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. She has said the decision was made based on cost concerns and the belief that more people would vote by mail.

    Purcell on Wednesday took responsibility for the long lines and promised to increase the number of polling locations for the May 17 special election, which will include the education funding proposal Proposition 123.


    But Yee said legislation is needed to assure it doesn't happen again.

    "We've seen across the states that this is a different election, unlike anything we've seen before," she said. "To see that voter turnout has been so high in states before us, we should have been ready."


    Yee said she saw voters leave because they just didn't have time to wait in the long lines. Many more endured the waits.


    "I was so encouraged to see so many people who were excited about exercising their right to vote, no matter where they stood on the candidates or the issues," she said. "These were people that truly cared about our great country and about where this country is going."


    Yee declined to say which Phoenix polling place she had used. She said she'd been collecting campaign signatures at several sites in her district, and just before 7 p.m. got in line at a north Phoenix site.


    "I waited five and a half hours in the line and was able to cast my ballot at 12:20 a.m. this morning," she said. "We want to make voting easy and we want to make it accessible, and yesterday's situation did the exact opposite."


    She said she believes her proposal will have bipartisan support, and said voters in her district already have been calling to ask for action before the May 17 election. In order for a bill to go into effect by then, it would require an emergency clause and the support of two-thirds of the Legislature.


    "We cannot repeat what occurred yesterday," Yee said.

    House Elections Committee Chairwoman Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, announced Wednesday she will hold a special committee meeting Monday to gather information about what happened. The public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. in House Hearing Room 4, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

    "In a year when most states experienced record or near-record turnout, Arizona should have been better prepared and anticipated the amount of turnout we experienced," Ugenti-Rita said in a statement.


    She said she has invited the Secretary of State's Office, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and Arizona Association of Counties to participate. She encouraged the public, particularly voters who experienced long lines, to attend and testify.



    Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Phoenix, criticized the Republican lawmakers demanding answers following Tuesday's election. He said if the Republican-led Legislature had considered several bills he proposed months ago, the problems would have never occurred.

    “Governor Ducey properly stated this morning that waiting for hours to vote is unacceptable and independents should be allowed to vote. That's easy to say in the face of voter outrage, but he and his fellow Republican legislators ignored the opportunity to prevent this from happening in the first place with my bill, SB 1027, to allow independent voters to participate in yesterday's election," Quezada said in a statement.


    He proposed bills to allow independents to vote in the presidential-preference election, to require counties to put polling locations on all university and community college campuses and to mandate that the waiting time at polling places could be no longer than 30 minutes. Republican legislative leaders did not grant any of the bills public hearings or put them up for votes.


    “We learned some valuable lessons yesterday at the expense of suppressing many votes. One lesson is we must ensure there are enough polling places so everyone who wants to vote can do so conveniently," he said.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...lems/82181066/

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    You know, I'm not buying this "mistake". They don't make childish immature stupid mistakes like not predicting a huge turn out after 20 states have aleady had record turn-out. Saving a few bucks every four years on a Presidential primary caucus doesn't really add up, does it? Naah, it doesn't.

    You're playing games with our liberty, and screwing up our election process, then lying about it.

    Shame, Shame, Shame.

    GRRRRRRRR!
    Last edited by Judy; 03-24-2016 at 05:38 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    You know, I'm not buying this "mistake". Utah is a very well-run state. They don't make childish immature stupid mistakes like not predicting a huge turn out after 20 states have aleady had record turn-out. Utah is a financially secure state, does very well mathematically, so saving a few bucks every four years on a Presidential primary caucus doesn't really add up, does it? Naah, it doesn't.

    You're playing games with our liberty, and screwing up our election process, then lying about it.

    Shame, Shame, Shame on Mormon Values.

    GRRRRRRRR!
    Governor Ducey is the governor of ARIZONA.

    This article is all about the Arizona election.

    Not Utah.


    AZ. Gov. Doug Ducey demands change after long polling place lines

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