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Civil Rights Organizations Request Extension of Poll Hours in Maricopa County, Arizona

November 8, 2018

Derrick Robinson

Communications Director

On Election Day the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Arizona Advocacy Foundation and All Voting is Local-Arizona sent a letter, demanding that the Maricopa County Arizona Board of Supervisors and the County Recorder extend voting hours in polling locations throughout Arizona’s largest county. The purpose of the demand is to allow those voters who could not vote in the morning and would not be able to vote before the 7 pm closing time.

There has been record voter turnout this election, but it has resulted in technology glitches and printing problems rendering some polling places unavailable to voters. The Election Protection hotline has received numerous calls from registered Maricopa County voters who indicated that they were unable to vote at their assigned polling locations or at a vote center due to these problems. As a result, voters left polling places or were told to go to other voting centers. The technological issues affected ten precinct polling places and all of the 40 voting centers in Maricopa County.

“We have sued Maricopa County before for failures concerning the running of elections, said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, “and it is unfortunate to see a situation today where voters are once again locked out. We will use every tool in our arsenal to ensure that those voters who sought to participate and found shuttered polling sites or broken machines are able to participate before the closing of the polls.”

“Our democracy is better when more eligible voters show up and participate. To that point, there are always better ways to safeguard our elections. We are excited about the record turnout, but the glitches are proof that we should be modernizing our voting infrastructure and systems, so voters don’t encounter these problems. Our groups will continue to work closely with the Recorder’s Office to make sure today’s election is secure, while ensuring every eligible person has the right to vote,” said Joel Edman, Executive Director of Arizona Advocacy Foundation.

If people have a problem at the polls they can call the Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE and 888-VE-Y-VOTE for Spanish. The hotline is staffed by trained legal volunteers ready to answer anything from “where is my polling place” to “will this kind of ID work” and everything in between.

 

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