Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New Analysis Highlights Potential Problems Arizona Voters Could Experience at the Polls on Election Day
Press Release

RELEASE: New Analysis Highlights Potential Problems Arizona Voters Could Experience at the Polls on Election Day

CAP will host a press call on Thursday, October 27, at 12:30 p.m. EST to discuss this issue brief and others in the series that address roadblocks for voters in Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released the fifth in a series of briefs assessing potential problems for voters in states that have experienced issues with election administration or recent changes to voting rules. Each brief analyzes steps to improve election performance and the voting experience. With Election Day only two weeks away, our focus is on Arizona.

Key issues identified by CAP experts include:

  • Problems in the primaries. During the primaries in Arizona, some independent voters who had changed their registration to vote in the closed Democratic primary reported being told they were not registered and were blocked from voting. A poll worker testified that she was unable to give the correct ballots to 36 registered Democratic voters because of a computer glitch and found that 20 other voters’ party affiliations were incorrect.
  • Voter challenges. Arizona’s use of the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration database to check voters’ citizenship will most likely misidentify citizens as noncitizens because minority voters share surnames more often than those belonging to other ethnic and racial groups.
  • Mail-in ballots. Arizona’s new limitation on the collection of mail-in ballots will disproportionately affect Latino voters. A challenge to the law on these grounds failed after a federal district court judge denied a request to delay enforcement of the rule and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed that decision. Although the 9th Circuit agreed to review the rule again—it heard arguments on October 19—it has not issued a decision.
  • Wait times. Before the 2016 primaries, officials in Maricopa County cut polling sites by 85 percent as compared to the 2008 presidential election and 70 percent as compared to the 2012 primary election, which leaves just one site per 21,000 voters. Multitudes of voters will wait in line for up to five hours to cast a ballot. Latino areas were disproportionately affected. As a result of a subsequent lawsuit, Maricopa County had to develop a plan to ensure that wait times at polling places do not exceed 30 minutes.

Read the issue brief, “Preventing Problems at the Polls: Arizona,” here.

Access the previous briefs in the series: WisconsinFloridaOhio; and North Carolina.

For more information or to speak to an expert on this topic, please contact Tanya Arditi at [email protected] or 202.741.6258.