During a press conference, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ripped Arizona Republicans who suppressed the vote of thousands of voters by limiting the number of polling places in the state’s largest county.
During a press conference today, Sen. Sanders said:
President Obama is in Cuba or has been in Cuba, no doubt talking to Raul Castro about democracy and the benefits of democracy. Well, we got an email last night from a woman in Arizona who was waiting online for five hours to vote. For five hours to vote. Whatever the cause of that problem is people in the United States of America should not have to wait five hours in order to vote. We do not know how many thousands of people who wanted to vote yesterday in Arizona did not vote. We don’t know if they wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or whoever.
But, in the United States of America, democracy is the foundation of our way of life. And what happened in Arizona is a disgrace. I hope that every state in this country learns from that and learns how to put together a proper election where people can come in and vote in a timely manner and go back to work.
The problem was centered in Maricopa County, AZ where there was was one polling site for every 21,000 voters. Most counties in the state that The Arizona Republic surveyed had one polling place for every 2,500 voters. Maricopa is a Republican stronghold, and also the state’s most populous county.
It is obvious that the lack of polling places is an intentional Republican strategy to suppress the vote.
Sen. Sanders was correct. It is impossible to know how many voters became discouraged and didn’t vote, or who those voters would have supported if they did vote. What is clear is that Republicans in Arizona’s largest county engaged in behavior that undermined the democratic electoral process of the United States of America.
What Republicans did in Maricopa County was un-American, and it is the man who these same conservatives sneeringly call a socialist who is standing up for the democratic values that are the heartbeat of the United States of America.