Arizona style voter suppression

There were many classic attempts of voter suppression in Arizona and over a half-million votes remain uncounted, so no one should be doing a victory dance just yet:

Nearly a third of votes cast in Arizona remained uncounted the day after the election. Most of them were probably cast by Latinos, organized and newly registered by multiple civil rights groups in the state to combat candidates like the notorious Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

On Thursday, the Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, announced the figures: 631,274 early and provisional ballots remained uncounted out of a total of 1.8 million votes. At least 350,000 of them are from Maricopa County (Phoenix metropolitan area), where Joe Arpaio has already claimed victory. Activist Randy Parraz, president of Citizens for a Better Arizona, told the Huffington Post, “We’re not conceding anything until every vote is counted. They’re just going to act like, ‘Oh, the election’s over, Arpaio wins.’ Hell no.”

Three Congressional races also remain in limbo. Although Democrat Rich Carmona originally conceded the Senate seat to Jeff Flake on election night, he changed his mind after hearing the unprecedented number of uncounted votes. On Friday, he sent this message to supporters: “We will take every necessary step to make sure all of our supporters’ ballots are counted.” Two U.S. House races are also too close to call until the remainder of the votes are tallied. Protestors from a coalition of rights groups are maintaining a continuous presence outside of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center. In a letter to the county recorder, Helen Purcell, the American Civil Liberties wrote that the “public confidence in the voting process” was at risk.

The situation has attracted attention all across the nation. Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid weighed in, issuing a statement of his concern: “All of the votes in Arizona must be counted promptly, accurately and equally. The uncounted votes in Maricopa County alone represent a major portion of the total votes cast in Arizona on Tuesday.” He also pointed out that this problem occurs just as the Supreme Court is ready to consider whether the voter protections in 1965′s Voter Rights Act should be scaled back. Specifically, the justices are being asked to rule that the part that prevents states from disenfranchising minorities is no longer relevant.

4 thoughts on “Arizona style voter suppression

  1. Nobody suprresses the vote like the state of Florida. Compared to Florida, Arizona is amateurland. Only in badly run third-world countries does it take four days to count the vote. Florida is a disgrace. Governor Rick Scott should be recalled from office for malfeasance. Then he should run for the governor of Arizona and show them who voter suppression is ‘really’ accomplished.

  2. I almost can’t believe this is happening in the 21st Century. But, then, rabid Repubs are plumb crazy.

  3. Of course, Minnesota did show the way to delay, delay, delay winning Dems actually getting into Congress. Amazing.

  4. Man I can only hope Holder is up to this. If Arizona issues any election certificate with 100,000’s of votes out, that is the worst record the Supreme court could possibly face in vacating Section 5. The Court is well aware of the intent behind SB1070.

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