A little after midnight, five hours after Hillary Clinton was declared the Democrat winner and several hours after Donald Trump was declared the Republican winner the last voters cast their ballots in the Arizona primary. Voters had spent hours waiting in the hot sun to vote. Many were turned away after the long wait.
If you weren’t registered with either the Democratic, Green or Republican party you weren’t allowed to vote. That fact alone caused confusion and delays. Arizona has a history of discriminatory and racist voting practices. We live at a time when the Republicans are in control and their gerrymandering has led to redistricting designed to give them even greater control.
This is the United States. The right to vote is a precious right. We should be long past having to figure out how to handle an election. Why are we making it harder to vote?
In Maricopa county, which covers Phoenix and beyond, they went from 200 polling places in 2012 to 60 in 2016. Each location had to handle 20,000 people. People were in line for over five hours. In smaller counties outside of Phoenix the average polling place served about 2500 people. None of this makes any sense. Leaders say they were trying to save money and trim costs. Who was doing the due diligence on those decisions?
No one was thinking about the people. This is a lack of accountability. The true greatness of our country comes from everyone being able to express themselves through their right to vote. When we limit that right for any reason we limit our potential as a country. Accountability, for our leaders, should be serving the people not serving their own political needs and gains.