Clinton, Sanders join DNC in suit over AZ voting

Posted at 11:32 AM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 19:47:28-04

Campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are joining the Democratic Party in filing suit against our state following major voting issues during March's presidential primary.

A letter from the Democratic National Committee said the suit, filed Thursday, is "a response to decisions that caused extremely long lines and needlessly disenfranchised voters, especially minority voters, during the state’s March 22 presidential primary election."

In a Thursday statement, Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said, "We share the concerns of Arizona supporters of both campaigns who encountered barriers and appreciate the DSCC and DNC's willingness to let us join the case as a party."

Bernie Sanders' camp also joined the suit on Thursday, echoing sentiments from Clinton's campaign.

"The handling of the primary election in Arizona was a disgrace. People should not have to wait in line for five hours to vote," a statement from campaign manager Jeff Weaver read. "What happened in Arizona is part of a pattern of voter disenfranchisement by Republicans."

Voters across Maricopa County were forced to wait several hours to cast their vote on March 22, prompting outrage directed at local officials.

Election officials told ABC15 several things contributed to the problems, including fewer polling locations, voter confusion over pre-registration, and competitive races on both Republican and Democratic sides.

Among those named in the suit are the Arizona Secretary of State, Michele Reagan, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Maricopa County Recorder, Helen Purcell.

Concerned citizens,  the Arizona Democratic PartyGovernor Doug Ducey, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have all asked for answers regarding the long lines voters faced.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice has also is seeking information from the Maricopa County Recorder's Office. 

A letter was sent to Helen Purcell from the department's Civil Rights Division seeking information from the office as to how the March 22 election was planned, and the office's response thereafter. 

The Justice Department, with the information sought, will evaluate whether Purcell's office was in compliance with federal voting rights statutes.