Photo: The line to vote in Arizona, photo taken from https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/03/22/officials-ineligible-independent-voters-show-up-to-polls-cause-long-lines/
On Tuesday, March 22, the people of Arizona headed to the polls to vote for their Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates. It was a closed primary, meaning that people had to register either Democrat or Republican to participate, which many people did. And yet, when people (overwhelmingly Democrats) got to the polling stations, many found that they had been incorrectly registered – even if they were long-time Democrats. They also found that the amount of polling stations had been reduced by over 60%, there weren’t enough ballots, and the lines were very, very long. Some people had to choose between waiting in line over three hours and just going home. Many went home.
Even before Hillary Clinton was declared the winner by the Associated Press, liberals (see: Sanders supporters) cried foul. They claimed that the DNC, which is totes in cahoots with Clinton, had rigged the election in her favor, negating the voices of Independents and Sanders-supporting Democrats and curtailing the amount of polling locations so that people couldn’t vote for the revolution.
The only problem? That doesn’t make any sense.
While Hillary is a clear favorite of the DNC and does have strong ties with chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it is very, very unlikely that the DNC rigged the election for her. For one, the DNC was not responsible for the amount of polling stations Arizona would have – Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, a Republican, was. And, as you may remember from this post last week, state employees from Maricopa County aren’t necessarily shining beacons of ethical conduct.
Secondly, how could the DNC ensure that Hillary’s supporters wouldn’t be affected by the reduced polling stations and disastrously mismanaged registration? Both Independents and long-time Democrats were equally affected, and polling stations were most reduced in areas populated by minorities – a group that Hillary has been scoring well with. It would be idiotic for her/the DNC to try to silence their voices, especially when Hillary is counting on them to push her towards the Presidency.
The much more likely culprit is the Supreme Court, who in 2013 and led by conservative judges, struck down a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires the states to have all changes to voting laws cleared by the federal government first. This allowed Maricopa County officials to reduce the number of polling stations for the Democratic primary, affectively disenfranchising Democrats and Democratic voters. All across the United States, conservative politicians have been pulling the same tricks, often tacking on unmanageable voter ID laws and voting stipulations that suppress people’s votes.
So if you want to blame someone, blame the people responsible. Blame the Supreme Court judges, four of whom still sit on the bench, for defanging the Voting Rights Act. Blame Maricopa County officials for saving money and reducing the amount of polling stations. Blame them for mismanaging Democratic registration. Write letters, make phone calls, run for office. All of those will affect real change, while positing vast Hillary-centric conspiracy theories will do nothing more than fracture the voting base and bring a Republican to the White House.
You don’t actually want that, do you?