Yep, that's a long line

[wonkbar]a href=""[/wonkbar]Isn't it nice when primary candidates can move past their bickering and unite on issues that matter, like the need to improve health care (but not how) or to raise the minimum wage (but not how) or women's right to choose (but thank god they actually agree on that one)? You'll be delighted to know that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are also shouting in vehement agreement with each other on another matter, too: Elections officials in Arizona's Maricopa County are a crowd of hoofwanking bunglecunts, so the campaigns and the national Democratic Party are joining together as one to sue all holy hell out of the state of Arizona.

As you'll recall, the Maricopa County Recorder, Helen Purcell, cut the number of polling stations open for the primary from 200 in 2012 to 60 in 2016. Oh, sure, she had some help -- the Arizona Legislature cut funding for county elections offices, too, and Maricopa County ended up with a $1.9 million shortfall in funding for the 2016 elections. Ms. Purcell also made some extremely optimistic assumptions about the number of people who would vote early or by absentee ballot, and so some polling places ended up with waits to vote of over five hours. When the polls closed, those lucky enough to be in line were allowed to wait (for hours), but many who were caught in traffic trying to get to the polls -- traffic caused by lack of parking due to those same backed-up polls -- were out of luck.

According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit, initially filed by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party, alleges that

Arizona’s “alarmingly inadequate number of voting centers resulted in severe, inexcusable burdens on voters county-wide, as well as the ultimate disenfranchisement of untold numbers of voters who were unable or unwilling to wait in intolerably long lines,” the lawsuit says.

The lack of voting places was “particularly burdensome” on Maricopa County’s black, Hispanic and Native American communities, which had fewer polling locations than white communities and in some cases no places to vote at all, the lawsuit alleges.

The suit asks the U.S. District Court of Phoenix to review the county's plans for polling place locations in the November general election -- Purcell has already said there will be polling places for each of the county's precincts in the fall. The suit also demands an end to

state policies that have a “dramatic and disparate impact” on minorities, who are more likely to vote Democratic, the lawsuit says. For instance, the filing cites a recently enacted law that makes it a felony for someone to turn in a sealed absentee ballot on behalf of another voter, unless the person is a caregiver or family member.

[wonkbar]a href=""[/wonkbar]That last change, you'll recall, was passed by the Arizona legislature after a video of a Latino volunteer delivering sealed, legal absentee ballots to a polling place was mischaracterized in rightwing media -- with much outrage -- as "ballot stuffing."

Meanwhile, Mother Jones reports that the Bernie Sanders campaign will join the suit after it's filed.

Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager for Sen. Bernie Sanders, said in a statement provided to Mother Jones Thursday afternoon that the Sanders campaign supports and will join the suit.

"The handling of the primary election in Arizona was a disgrace," Weaver said. "People should not have to wait in line for five hours to vote. How many people were turned away? What happened in Arizona is part of a pattern of disenfranchisement by Republicans."

[wonkbar]a href=""[/wonkbar]WaPo points out that Democrats are concerned about voting access in November not only because of the presidential election, but because of what's expected to be a close Senate race between John McCain and Democratic challenger Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. WaPo says that Kirkpatrick's campaign will also be a party to the lawsuit.

So there's your Nice Time for a Saturday morning: The Democrats are coming together to scorch the earth of Republican voter suppression, murdering all who would stop them, with lawsuits. Hooray!

[Mother Jones / WaPo / image via Glendale Mayor Jerry Weirs on Twitter]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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