Secretary of state calls long voter lines in Maricopa County ‘completely unacceptable’

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (Courtesy of www.azsos.gov)

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan (Courtesy of www.azsos.gov)

 

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan on March 23 said in a press release that she is dedicated to finding out why some Maricopa County voters had to wait hours in line to vote in the March 22 presidential preference election.

“The issues that arose with the amount of time voters had to stand in line, confusion surrounding eligibility and other issues are completely unacceptable and my office will launch a full-scale statewide review of county election policies and procedures surrounding yesterday’s election,” Ms. Reagan said ina prepared statement. “What happened to Maricopa County voters yesterday was awful.  I can honestly say that as of right now we have no explanation why county election officials decided to reduce the number of polling places down to only 60 locations.  While each individual county makes their own decisions, I need to make sure yesterday’s polling place upheaval doesn’t happen at our next statewide election on May 17th.  Or worse, the presidential general election in November when thousands more new voters will be casting ballots for the first time.

“Yesterday, I spent all day trying to help voters.  Today, I have refocused my energy on finding out the what and why of the county decisions that were made that led to severe polling delays.  Election officials are constantly looking for ways to improve.  If we find that the laws need to change, we will lead the charge,” Ms. Reagan said.

“In fact, next week I will announce a series of bipartisan public hearings in the areas most effected by the problems at the polls.  Our office will generate an action report on the outcome of those hearings and present it as a part of the next Election Procedures Manual meeting with all 15 county election officials in attendance,” she said.

To help alleviate concerns with provisional or early ballots, the secretary of state’s office has also created an online tracking tool (https://voter.azsos.gov) where voters can find out when their ballot was processed and counted.

“I woke up at 3 a.m. yesterday morning so excited for the election and full of hope for the people who were voting.  I feel awful that some of them may have given up and gone home or had to go back to work.  Voters deserve so much better and government should be held accountable,” Ms. Reagan said.

 

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