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Something Is Going Seriously Wrong at Arizona Polls Today

Arizona’s primaries aren’t even done yet, and there’s already legal action being taken as a result of incompetence or possibly even intentional sabotage.

Leaders from the Arizona branch of the Democratic Party have confirmed that its lawyers are officially making an inquiry after multiple Democratic voters showed up to the polls only to find that they were listed as independents, Republicans, or had no party affiliation at all.

Many voters wound up having to wait in line under the hot Arizona sun only to find that they were ineligible to vote for the candidates of their choice. To add insult to injury, the polling locations have been so poorly planned that many voters had to wait in line up to four hours before finding out that their information had been improperly filed.

In line to vote in arizona, line is at least 1.5 hours, out the door, winding down the street.

Posted by Lynn Hall on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Heading out to vote? Some polling locations are reporting wait times of up to four hours for today’s historic Arizona Primary!

Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This isn’t just conspiracy theory, either. Maricopa County, home of Phoenix, which is traditionally very conservative, is four times larger than Pima County, which houses Tucson, a traditionally liberal city. Yet despite over 4 million people residing in Maricopa County, and less than 1 million living in Pima County, Pima had twice as many polling locations as Maricopa, according to AZCentral.com.

Joe Dana, a reporter with 12 News in Phoenix, tweeted that despite 500,000 more primary voters in 2016 than 2012, Maricopa County polling places had dwindled considerably for this election:

Poll workers have been giving out “provisional ballots,” according to 12 News. It’s unclear at this time as to whether these ballots will actually count in the Arizona primary, and whether intentional or not, it could result in the disenfranchisement of Arizona voters. Some frustrated residents are taking to YouTube and social media to voice their frustrations.

No word has been given as to whether there was a pattern as to which kind of demographics were experiencing this kind of treatment, and no explanation has been given regarding what caused this bizarre error.

“We’ve been getting calls all day from lifelong Democrats who have been registered as independents,” Enrique Gutierrez, communications director for the Arizona Democratic Party, told US Uncut. “One woman even said she’d been registered as a Libertarian.”

When asked how this might affect the election, he responded that it would be close, and that they were doing their best:

Provisional ballots are usually the last to be counted. It might swing the election, to be honest, depending on how close it is here. If there’s a mistake in our system, we want to fix it. Their votes should be counted. Everyone’s votes should be counted. We’ve been hearing all day from people, and they’re pretty upset.

Bernie Sanders is taking a proactive approach, asking voters to help monitor the situation on the ground via his Twitter account.

Some similar stories have surfaced during the primaries of earlier voting states, and accusations of voter fraud or infringement of voting rights run rampant on any election day. We will continue to monitor the situation in Arizona and update as necessary.

Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW

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