This is not a conspiracy. These are not some far left-wing grumblings. This is real, and has been confirmed by the Arizona Secretary of State.
Secretary of State Michele Reagan established that thousands of Arizonans had their voter registration changed from their registered party to Independent without their knowledge. Since Arizona is a closed primary, that means those individuals were not able to vote in their chosen party’s primary.
Many think the voter database was hacked, but this has not been proven. However, it happened; this change in party affiliation reportedly occurred less than 24 hours before the polls opened.
Voters who checked their registration status the day before they went to the polls confirmed that they were unable to vote due to this unexplained, last minute change in registered party.
This wasn’t the only issue that occurred in Arizona. Obscenely long polling lines took up to four hours long to get through on election day, which meant masses of people were unable to vote.
Some newspapers estimate that tens of thousands of voters could not vote due to these lengthy polling lines. This problem was due in part to a large, and mostly unexplained, reduction in polling locations.
For example, in Maricopa County the number of polling places was cut from 200 to 60. Helen Purcell, who was responsible for organizing the election in that county, summed the situation up correctly when she said, “We obviously made some mistakes…We made some horrendous mistakes.” She went on to blame budget cuts as one reason for this problem.
Dean Palmer of Maricopa County, an Air Force veteran, described his voting experience. “My experience down there, it was tough…People in wheelchairs and canes in the heat…We were out of provisional ballots at 7 a.m. …So many people, they couldn’t take it. They had to leave, people were crying.”
The most frustrating part of this is that there is an easy solution. This isn’t one of the government’s broken systems that no one knows how to repair. If people are too paranoid to go to an online voting system (which is understandable, as the government isn’t known for being particularly tech savvy), then there need to be enough polling stations for people to vote relatively quickly.
In America, voting is a more fundamental right than any other. Budget cuts don’t prevent our country from giving tax breaks to corporations. Budget cuts don’t stop us from engaging in multi-trillion dollar wars. So why do budget cuts strip our citizens of their right to vote?