Fallout from election day debacle continues

The disastrous Presidential Preference election day is still making headlines across the country. The last polling place in Maricopa County closed around 1 a.m. around 5 hours past the 7 p.m. cut off.

- The disastrous Presidential Preference election day is still making headlines across the country. The last polling place in Maricopa County closed around 1 a.m. around 5 hours past the 7 p.m. cut off.

State leaders are promising to fix the problems and are questioning the decision to cut the number of polling places, and now there are threats of lawsuits.

The Arizona Secretary of State has ordered a full review, Phoenix's Mayor has asked the Department of Justice to Investigate, and citizens have created a White House petition demanding an inquiry. That petition has received more than 100,000 signatures and now the AZ Democratic Party says they are exploring a lawsuit.

The AZ Democratic Party says they received more than 1,000 calls on election day, and more than 3,500 have sent in written complaints.

"It really seems like this is the kind of behavior that merits legal action, and we are certainly going to look hard at whether we have a case, and if it is necessary," said Jim Barton.

Maricopa County Election leaders have shrunk the number of polling places from more than 200 in 2012 to just 60 for Tuesday's election, and now the accusations are flying.

"No matter what there is nothing that we can deny, that voter suppression happened," said Rep. Ruben Gallego.

The move had been in the works for months, even discussed at a February Board of Supervisors meeting.

Only one supervisor Steve Gallardo expressed concerns, but still approved the plan.

"I put a lot of faith in them, I told them I am not comfortable with 60; I would prefer more. I made it clear I want more polling places. And they said it would be ok. They re-assured me that 60 would be ok. They say they have a scientific method determining where the polling places are and knowing how many," said Steve Gallardo.

The County Recorder says the decision to cut the number of polling places wasn't just about money, although the county saved just under $1 million, it was more about the number of voters expected to show up at the polls.

"It is very obvious to me after election day that we made some mistakes, and that is my fault, and I apologize to everyone, the voters and everyone else," said Helen Purcell.

Purcell denies any plan to suppress the vote.

"I have never tried to suppress anyone from voting, nor would I do that... when you walk in my door, you don't have any party. When you work for this office, you don't have a party. You are serving all the people of Maricopa County; that is our job," said Purcell.

Another election is coming up in May, and then there is the big election in November. Purcell says the plans for polling places will certainly change; they don't want this to happen again. 


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