As voting commenced in Arizona on Tuesday night, reports began to roll in that things were not going smoothly at all.
First were the long lines. Apparently, Maricopa County in Arizona in the last four years had drastically reduced the number of polling locations from over 200 to just 60. County officials claimed that the reduction was due to an increase of early mail-in ballots and was an effort to save the county some money. Unfortunately, when voters showed up to those 60 locations on Tuesday afternoon, the lines grew incredibly long. When polls closed, people waiting in line were told it would take as long as 3 hours to cast their ballot.
Maricopa County also happens to contain the most populated city in the state of Arizona, Phoenix. Phoenix is home to about 60 percent of the state’s population, 40.8 percent of which is Hispanic. Phoenix contains the largest concentration of Latino/Latina voters in the state, and they were forced to wait in line for hours to cast their ballot.
Then there came the confusion regarding Independent voters. People reported that lifelong Democrats had been somehow registered as Independent or even Libertarian, which prevented them from casting a ballot for their Democratic candidate. They were forced to cast provisional ballots which will have to be counted after it is confirmed that they are in fact Democrats.
This is not about one candidate or another, though these voting difficulties could have had a meaningful impact on election results. This is about every person’s constitutional right to vote to decide our country’s future. Arizona took a giant gamble that voter turnout would be low and that they could get away with cutting corners. What they ended up doing was impeding the Democratic process to a monumental level.