Phoenix Mayor Calls for Department of Justice Investigation into Maricopa County Disproportionately Reducing Polling Stations in Minority Neighborhoods

As the lawyers say, res ipsa loquitur. I hope you circulate this widely. From martha r:

Phoenix mayor letter

Phoenix letter page 2

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62 comments

  1. Oguk

    The letter is published on the Mayor’s website here, a little easier to read/download/link to. It’s getting more mainstream attention now too.

  2. Pavel

    No doubt those great defenders* of democracy, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her BFF Henry Kissinger will be joining the calls for this investigation.

    *Exceptions: Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Chile, Ukraine, etc etc…

    1. jrs

      Of course we are told minorities are Hillary Clinton voters … So who knows if it actually hurt her in any way, maybe just gave her a smaller margin of victory than she would have otherwise had (and Trump a larger margin perhaps).

  3. frosty zoom

    is that the same loretta lynch who is supposed to be investigating ms. clinton’s email escapades?

    hmm…

    1. Jim Haygood

      Sweet Loretta Lynch thought she was a woman
      But she was just The Man
      All the agents round her say “indictments coming”
      But she kills them while she can

      Get back, get back …

      — The Beatles

  4. allan

    Will Samantha Power and Victoria Nuland be issuing calls for an outside investigation
    of this possibly rigged election?

  5. flora

    There were 70 percent fewer polling places this year than in 2012 in Phoenix’s county. 70. Percent. Fewer.
    Gutting the Voting Rights Act is having the predicted consequences.

    “Blum argues it’s about upholding the principle of “one person, one vote”, but the effect of such a change would almost certainly be to dilute representation in urban, Democratic-leaning districts and boost it in suburban and rural, Republican-leaning ones. Within municipalities, it is likely to make city councils whiter and more conservative. It would also counter the principle – enshrined in the constitution for federal elections, and established by the supreme court in 1964 for state-level ones – that legislators should represent roughly equal blocs of population, regardless of eligibility.

    “Some of Blum’s cases have had such an impact that even he has been taken aback. Nowhere is that truer than with Shelby County v Holder, a case he sponsored that in 2013 led the supreme court to overturn a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Blum told the Guardian he has worried over the fallout from that ruling, which spurred conservative legislators in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere to revive laws that the Justice Department had previously blocked or was expected to block on the grounds that they were vehicles for minority vote suppression.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jan/05/edward-blum-voting-rights-act-civil-rights-affirmative-action

    1. flora

      When did the modern Supreme Court become such narrow minded pedants – adhering to the letter of the law while ignoring the spirit of the law.

      1. ambrit

        The Supreme Court has ‘traditionally’ been an ultra right wing tool of the elites. The post WW2 court has been an unusually “progressive” aberration in the history of that institution. Franklin Roosevelts’ attempt to circumvent the Supreme Courts’ reactionary tendencies by “stuffing the bench” early in his administration shows the power, and weakness of the Executive Branch. Who’s in the White House matters a lot to the Supreme courts’ political philosophy, via appointments to said court. The Supreme Court could be said to be a “trailing indicator” of the political health of the Nation.

        1. DJG

          ambrit: Yes. Keeping repeating this to people who think that they should rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to protect their liberties. The Court has been best at protecting property. It’s decisions with regard to slavery are a wonderful legacy of dysfunction.

    2. sleepy

      The cited article indicates that Blum is pushing for legislative districting that excludes children, felons, and non citizens from the population count used to determine that all such districts are fairly uniform in population size.

      How on earth this could work is beyond me–the population counts used to draw legislative districts is based on US Census data. But the census counts everyone including children, felons, and non-citizens. How does he propose to come up with this data, by requiring the census to ask who is a felon or non-citizen? That would be the end of the census as we know it. Maybe that’s the goal.

    3. TomD

      The saddest thing is that the VRA wasn’t politicized or fought by any national politician. It passed renewal in congress with 98 votes in the senate I believe. Then the Supreme Court overturns it, for what reason?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The struck down provision applied to certain states and localities. We can discuss the spirit of the law til the cows come home, but

        -the first three reauthorizations of this part of the legislation were based on current voting data.
        -the last two reauthorization used data from 1975. The 1975 reauthorization was for 25 years.
        -the Supremes warned Congress they needed to update the act which is Congress’ role in the legislation and that they would strike this part down if they didn’t. Congress’ use of old data is testament that Congress doesn’t care or doesn’t think the VRA is important.
        -Obama, Pelosi, and Reid did nothing despite a clear warning from the Supremes.

        There are counties and states that needed to be covered and ones that needed to be lifted. The bottom line is the Democrats in Congress didn’t do their job and whining about a politicized Supreme Court was their only excuse.

  6. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    LOL tagged under “banana republic”, indeed.
    You would think after Florida 2000 this would have been a priority
    Oh wait, I should stop my sentence at “you would think…” because evidently no one bothers with that tiresome activity any more

  7. Collapsar

    I stood in one of those lines for 2 1/2 hours in order to vote. Others in line mentioned that they had come to the location I was at because the first place they went to had wait times of over 3 hrs. This was about 2 P.M.
    Another concern I have is about my experience at the voting booth. I saw an open desk in front of a poll worker, and as I walked up she asked me for my party. I told her and she handed me a ballot. I asked if she needed to see my ID, and she told me that I was supposed to go to a different table first to get my ID checked to ensure I was a valid voter. After doing that, I went back to the first table to get my ballot… again. Had I not asked the person at the first table I went to about the ID requirement, I would have been able to just take my ballot and submit it and never be the wiser that my vote likely would not have counted. I wonder how many other people made the same mistake I did.

  8. perpetualWAR

    I am so horrified by what this country has become. If the Clinton’s get back in office, I hope they find themselves “Vince Foster-ed.”

  9. aliteralmind

    “the polling locations have been so poorly planned that many voters had to wait in line up to four hours before finding out that their information had been improperly filed.”

    Maricopa’s County: 2012: 300,000 voters, 200 polling stations. 2016: 800,000 voters, 60 polling stations. People were ordering pizzas in line. CNN declared victory while thousands were still stuck in line for up to five hours after the polls closed.

    In a city of minorities: 1 polling location for every 108,000 voters. In cities of majority whites: 1/8,000, 1/13,000, 1/22,500, 1/54,000.

    Chaos. Create chaos and you can get away with anything.

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/arizona-hillary-clintons-election-fraud-masterpiece/ri13524

  10. ThoughtfulDiatribes

    There is also evidence of a form of voter roll purging. Long lines is only half the story when people wait until after midnight to vote and then are cheated out of a real ballot and instead given a provisional one.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident/comments/4bl35p/az_voter_fraud_caught_in_pima_county/

    What is shown in the video is a woman who was given a provisional ballot. She went to a registrar office to get it sorted out. She was in the system twice. One submission for when she confirmed her party affiliation as democrat, and then another submission weeks later that had her listed as “no preference.” That second submission had the carbon copy of her signature from the first submission – you know, the one she actually made so she could vote.

    Arizona is a closed primary, so “no preference” for a party doesn’t allow them to vote.

    Something stinks in AZ to high heaven. And word is rolling in, people are being purged from NY voter rolls as we speak. Something stinks in the USA to high heaven.

    1. pretzelattack

      bernie must be too close, the cheating is kicking into a higher gear from what i can see.

      1. RUKidding

        That’s the way it looks & smells to me… all said without any links or evidence. Just a bit stinky, I’d say.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      New York means home court advantage.

      The Democratic Party itself means also home court advantage to any Democrat running against non-Democrats/Independents in any race inside the party.

      1. HotFlash

        By “home” court, do you mean Hillary’s (ephemeral) NY home residency, or the home of Wall Street?

    1. pretzelattack

      maybe anonymous can help. i still don’t know what happened in ohio, that so shocked karl rove.

      1. hunkerdown

        #BREAKING PRESS RELEASE: Anonymous Investigating Claim Bernie Sanders’ #Arizona Supporter List Was Hacked #VoteFraud

        See image. (Twitter)

      2. RUKidding

        Yes, maybe Anonymous can help. I was happy to see them make their statement. Whatever happened in Ohio that caused the KKKarl to melt down will remain one of my treasured videos – a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

        Come help us, Anonymous!! We need the help.

  11. Kim Kaufman

    I just posted this on the “Occupy Rigged Elections” facebook page where there are some heavy hitters. One said the Mayor is a Hiillary supporter. So there’s that.

  12. Willbur

    Unfortunately, posted as .tiff files, it’s not getting widely circulated anywhere. Posting the PDF originals would be more effective as people at least know how to deal with PDFs, as do most browsers.

    1. HotFlash

      as Oguk pointed out above, at March 23, 2016 at 9:21 pm:

      The letter is published on the Mayor’s website here, a little easier to read/download/link to. It’s getting more mainstream attention now too.

    2. diptherio

      Short of a re-vote (which seems unlikely) what can be done about this? It seems like it’s a done deed and no matter what happens, Hillary will have plausible deniablitiy and end up with the delegates. What are the alternatives?

      [intended as stand-alone comment…oops!]

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A boycott of Hillary endorsers and Hillary until the situation is addressed in a comprehensive and transparent manner.

        The endorsers is more important. Hillary can’t reward everyone, and Hillary related money won’t come until October. Team Blue underlings are likely starting to notice they aren’t receiving the largesse they were promised. $100,000 today is worth more than. $10 million on October ads.

        1. Vatch

          I like the idea of putting the heat on Hillary’s endorsers, but I’m not sure how this would work. Are you suggesting that we contact super delegates who have endorsed her, and tell them we don’t like that? Are there corporate endorsers on whom we should put pressure?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I don’t know, but I suspect the mayor is feeling the heat already, possibly even Warren with her Trump comments. How many people unsubscribed from her email list? I bet there were nasty messages too. Of course, Trump is a right wing loser, but Trump is a reaction to poor government, the onus for solutions also has to be on Liz. What is her solution? Liz, you don’t like Trump? So where were you when one candidate is clearly weaker in a national election? Appeals to Democratic unity must be dismissed.

            Marty Walsh was pushed around by high schoolers, so it works.

            Obama avoided this pressure because too many people just saw what they wanted to see when his 2004 speech was the garbage of an empty suit. Those people dont want to admit they were wrong. Other candidates won’t have this protection.

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            This is occurring while Hillary is swinging hard to the right and has basically announced she wants to get the votes of Republicans who won’t for Trump. Even if Hillary succeeds, how does a switch on the Presidential line help down ticket Democrats? Those Democrats aren’t running against Trump.

  13. alethei33

    helen purcell, the maricopa county recorder, who has taken “full responsibility” for the reduction of polling sites that caused the long lines, appears to be a GOP county servant who has worked on redistricting and is well known among activists in phoenix for, shall we say, putting a very heavy thumb on the scale at election time. she refused to accept early ballots collected in minority neighborhoods by activist groups for the 2012 election, who were attempting to prevent the reelection of sheriff joe arpaio of tent city fame. that election reeked of fraud at the hands of purcell. she is a friend of joe arpaio and of former AZ governor jan brewer. (to find my sources, search for helen purcell on twitter and go back in time. if questioned i can provide links but do not have time to retrace my searches this morning.)

    i think the four bomb threat evacuations of county buildings during the election tuesday is a move that smacks of joe arpaio. the mass switching of voter affiliations via computer and the closing of polling stations smacks of AZ GOP/helen purcell.

    i think the alleged breaching of the sanders campaign’s AZ voter database, forcing sanders volunteers to resort to paper tracking in the days leading up to the primary, smacks of clinton.

      1. aletheia33

        FWIW:
        http://justicegazette.org/az-sanders-wins-real-vote-while-clinton-wins-rigged-count.html

        dateline 3/22/16.

        quote:
        “Last weekend, Sanders campaign workers in Arizona were concerned that their voter information database may have been hacked. This database contained information from voter surveys, showing which specific voters were supporting which Sanders as opposed to Clinton. The final day, volunteers had to go out with paper lists because of the hacking problem. Were these extensive lists used to determine which voters would be removed from the voter roles?”

        justice gazette home page:

        http://justicegazette.org/index.html

        a lot of stories have been circulating about dnc/clinton internal sabotage of bernie volunteer efforts. some of this is surely paranoia and misunderstanding of genuine disorganization. at this point, based on the claims i’ve seen and the mounting complaints, i am inclined to believe that some of this is true.

        a friend who is an active volunteer for bernie and has years of experience in gov’t, including holding elected office, told me in a recent conversation that during the MA primary, when she was on the ground in springfield, they could not get the boston office to send them any materials. finally, running out of time, they tried contacting the office in burlington, vt, and were immediately sent a truckload of the materials they needed. she said, “we had [i.e., we were good to win] western MA–all the problems were in the eastern part of the state.”

        i have seen by this time too many accounts of bad election results in areas where official campaign offices were not helping volunteers and good results in areas where the volunteers gave up on getting official help and went out on their own

        1. aletheia33

          sorry, the above was posted before i had finished editing, without any of my edits going through.
          i’ll leave it where it stands.

  14. aletheia33

    to sign white house petition to investigate voter fraud and suppression in AZ:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-voter-fraud-and-voter-suppression-arizona-3222016-democratic-party

    to urge pratt wiley, “national director of voter expansion” for the DNC–who has said he needs to hear from a large number of people on the issue–to investigate the AZ election and/or to exclude the AZ results at the D convention, you can email him at wileyp@DNC.org. i have done so.

    whatever one’s despair level, citizen outrage can still make a difference. there are still a lot of people in the US who hold the right to vote as sacred. in phoenix when they closed the polls and cut off the lines, people being cut off showed disbelief and anger. reaction along the lines of “i walked a mile from my car to get here and you’re telling me i CAN’T VOTE?”

    heading into NY primary, already D voters who were sure they were properly registered are reporting that on checking, they are being told they are not. the reddit bernie sanders for president group is now urging all NY registered voters to go to their local office to confirm their registration validity.

    a big enough noise about AZ and NY now could help sanders’s effort for the nomination going forward as well as send a temblor under the entrenched and corrupt DNC. zephyr teachout is already in the field…

    1. Vatch

      100,151 signatures! Now one of Obama’s low level staffers will have to write a meaningless statement about this! Democracy in action!

  15. tejanojim

    This may be naive, but has Hillary said anything about this mess? For one thing, it seems that minority voters were disproportionately impacted, which may have hurt her results. For another, this sort of thing casts doubt on the legitimacy of the process itself, which you’d think she would be wary of. Or is the outcome good enough for Madame Secretary?

    1. Arizona Slim

      So far, Hillary hasn’t said anything. And we’re still awaiting the official statement from the Sanders campaign.

      1. Vatch

        I don’t know how official this is; here’s an email message that Sanders sent to supporters:

        What happened yesterday in Arizona should be considered a national disgrace. I got an email last night from a woman who waited five hours to vote in Arizona. Five hours.

        We don’t know how many thousands of people didn’t get to cast their ballots yesterday in Arizona because they couldn’t afford to wait that long. Scenes on cable news last night showed hundreds of people in line at 11:30pm in Phoenix – more than four hours after polls closed. Voting should not be this difficult.

        One reason it is so hard to vote in Arizona is because the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. There were 70 percent fewer polling places this year than in 2012 in Phoenix’s county. They wouldn’t have been allowed to cut those polling places if the Voting Rights Act was still in tact.

        These cuts meant that, in a county with more than 4 million residents, there were just 60 polling places. This is unacceptable, but it’s also not an isolated incident.

        We need to make it easier to vote, not more difficult. One way we can do that is by reaffirming our support for the Voting Rights Act, which, when I am president, I will fight to reinstate.

        Add your name to say you support reinstating the Voting Rights Act so we can make voting easier for everybody, not more difficult.

        ADD YOUR NAME »

        We cannot continue to see democracy undermined in the United States of America. Enough is enough.

        Make no mistake: the billionaire class does not want Americans to vote. Billions of dollars are being funneled into our elections in a form of legalized bribery, even as American voters — especially minority voters — are being discouraged from voting. It is no wonder that government no longer works for ordinary Americans.

        Above all, we need to remember the price that was paid for the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act was one of the great victories of the civil rights movement. Now, as then, change comes when the people demand it — in the voting booth, and on the streets in peaceful demonstrations. We must remind ourselves of what’s been achieved in the past, and resolve to do equally great things in the future. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

        It is my sincere hope that the states that vote in the coming weeks and months do better than what we saw yesterday in Arizona. Too much is at stake for our future.

        Right now, what we can do is show your support by adding your name to say you want to reinstate the Voting Rights Act. Click here to add your name.

        No one said a political revolution would be easy. The billionaire class doesn’t want to see our movement win, and so we must do everything we can to show them that we have the power.

        In solidarity,

        Bernie Sanders

    1. Jim Haygood

      From the article:

      [A would-be voter] said she had gone to the MVD earlier this year to get a new license, but she had no intention of changing her political preference during that visit.

      The Motor Vehicle Division’s drivers’ license applications include an option to select a party preference. That information is transmitted to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

      But if the applicant doesn’t select a party preference, “then they are assumed as a PND,” or party not designated, said Matt Roberts, spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office.

      So tricky! So clever!

      This bureaucratic gauntlet is the poisoned legacy of the so-called Motor Voter Law, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993. It requires states to offer voter registration in connection with drivers license applications.

      Now Motor Voter been perverted to achieve the exact opposite effect, of disenfranchising already-registered voters from participating in primaries.

      It’s a fine example of how heavy-handed fedgov micromanagement crapifies civil society. Motor Voter was one of several Clintonian outrages that led me to de-register as a Democrat in 1993. And I ain’t never comin’ back …

      1. Arizona Slim

        I was a Democrat for many years. Changed my registration in 1992. Became an Independent.

        Why? Because I thought that the Democrats were turning into the yuppie party, and I wanted no part of that.

        In order to vote for Bernie Sanders, I had to re-register as a Democrat. So I did.

        The AZ primary fiasco inspired me to switch my affiliation back to Independent. Buh-bye, Clintonian Democratic Party. I’m done with you.

  16. Ray Phenicie

    Here’s the PDF file of the Mayor’s letter. The link is embedded in Politico’s article: Sanders applauds call to investigate Arizona voting delays

    Sanders is quoted as saying “We also know that when there is high voter turnout, we win,” he continued.

    There have been several incidents of what amounts to voter fraud throughout this primary year, one example being Arizona another North Caroline. However, the ramping and build up to these incidents involves years of plotting and machinations. Then when the pot boils over and the oatmeal hits the burner, Voila! we’re in the middle of an election year. These are examples of economic oppression, heavily vectored along racial lines, carried out through the tool of polling rules (North Carolina) and large scaling-back of the number of polling locations (Arizona and other states). This is a constant theme in American politics but the Democrats have always decried these methods as Republican tools. This latest spate of electioneering runs parallel with the Democrats moving into the ideological territory of the Republican party. This move is philosophically commandeered by Hillary Clinton and she benefitted with a ‘win’ in both North Carolina and Arizona.

    1. Ray Phenicie

      O. K.
      Apparently, Hillary benefitted from a maneuver orchestrated by the Republican party
      Ironic

      In the 2012 presidential primary, there were 200 places for voters to cast ballots in the county, which is heavily Republican. By comparison, Pima County — home to more liberal Tucson, Arizona, and a quarter of Maricopa County’s population — had 124 voting locations Tuesday.

      1. Ray Phenicie

        However, see this article which contains this conclusion

        The general finding that liberalized voter registration laws little effect the class composition of the voting electorate is attributed to the fact that the poor and less educated vote at considerably lower rates to begin with. If “every group benefits from liberalized registration laws” (Mitchell and Wlezien, 1995: 192), then even if those at the bottom of the SES ladder obtain greater turnout gains the relative composition of the voting electorate may change very little. Similarly, an ecological regression on 1990 county-level Minnesota data leads Calvert and Gilchrist (1993) to conclude that easier voter registration (i.e., EDR) does nothing to alleviate class bias among the voting electorate, and may even advantage high-SES citizens

        Diverging from previous work, one published study does suggest that registration laws
        may produce SES-contingent turnout effects. While primarily interested in broader measures of political participation, Rosenstone and Hansen (1993) studied turnout and registration laws using a pool of National Election Study presidential and midterm election surveys from 1956 to 1988. They find that earlier closing dates depressed voter turnout by 5.6 percent, with this legal requirement having an even larger impact on the less educated and the poor. The authors argue that registration closing dates falling long before the election directly reduce turnout among the less advantaged. Rosenstone and Hansen say turnout is also indirectly attenuated when party activists find it more difficult to mobilize members of groups having higher participation costs.

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