In this astonishing clip from Arizona’s hearing on the widespread problems that the voters endured during their recent primary, Secretary of State Michele Reagan addresses the allegations that voting registries were tampered with – and her answer is shocking.
Thousands of angry Arizonans complained that their voting registries had mysteriously changed to “independent” in the system, even though they’d been lifelong Democrats, as reported by the Tucson Weekly:
“A friend of mine showed up to his polling place in Tucson only to find out a mysterious force had deleted his switch from independent to Democrat. He was sent home. It turns out numerous voters, who switched from independent to Democrat (or Republican. But most complaints appear to be coming from voters switching to Democrat, according to several reports) could not vote. In Arizona, independents are only allowed to vote in the general election. Many who thought had switched were turned away and given provisional ballots.”
When asked if the allegations had merit, Secretary Reagan did not mince words: “Yes. This is something that I know happened, and I know it happened to people in this room. It is not hearsay. It happened to someone in my own office. We know it happened. ”
The primary in the southwest state is a closed primary, meaning that unless you are registered, you can’t vote in that party’s primary – so thousands were given provisional ballots, which don’t count in Arizona. Secretary Reagan did affirm that her office’s top priority was to cross-check the provisional ballots and to ensure that their votes were counted.
Coming on the heels of a state representative declaring unequivocally that voter fraud has indeed transpired in Arizona, it is clear that the Department of Justice must investigate this evidence of flagrant voter suppression. America’s elections were once the shining pride of the free world, and we shame ourselves ourselves by allowing this to transpire. Even worse is the damage it does to pursuit of democracy across the world, giving legitimacy to autocrats who cry that democracy is a broken system. The people of Arizona – and the rest of the free world – demand answers.
Watch it here:
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.