Statement by Tim Castro & Jacqueline Salit on Presidential preference election
Posted by Sarah Lyons on March 23, 2016 at 5:03 PM
Yesterday's Presidential preference election in Arizona was marred by long lines and wait times for voters prompting Gov. Ducey to go on record about the fiasco: "One way we can fix things is to simplify them,” he said, in a statement. “That means allowing independents to vote in presidential primaries, just as they vote in all other Arizona primaries. A big part of yesterday's problem was registered voters showing up, and being told they couldn’t vote. That's just wrong. If people want to take the time to vote they should be able to, and their vote should be counted." Below is a statement issued by Tim Castro and Jacqueline Salit on the election.
Statement by Independent Voters for Arizona and IndependentVoting.org
By: Tim Castro and Jacqueline Salit
What occurred yesterday in the Arizona presidential preference election was another black eye on the state of politics in Arizona. The exclusion of Arizona’s 1.2 million independent voters is a systemic form of voter suppression and undemocratic in the extreme. We note Governor Ducey's remarks calling for an opening of the presidential primaries to independents, however, it appears to be politically convenient that he waited until after the election.
For months, thousands of independent voters - led by Independent Voters for Arizona - have been pressuring party leaders and elected officials to open the presidential primaries. Over 30,800 Arizona independents signed protest letters to the chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties asking them to open their primaries to independents which were delivered to them on February 22nd. They refused to do so. This voter suppression was ignored by the Governor and the party chairs until it contributed to a crisis at the polls yesterday. Independents want more than after-the-fact symbolic support, Governor Ducey. We want a system that is fair and inclusive of all.
We will continue to fight on behalf of independents to open up the primary process. No Arizonan should have to join a party in order to have the right to vote and no taxpayer should have to fund an election that they are not allowed to vote in.
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