Thursday, March 24, 2016

rock the vote

{me, circa 1974ish}

two days ago, i headed to the polls. sunglasses, water, and book in hand. i had driven by my closest polling location earlier in the day and the line was very long. i knew i was in for a wait.
and. wait i did. one hour and forty minutes. but, worth every second.  the people in line around me were very nice. i didn't hear a single complaint. {however, i'm sure everyone had other places to be and things to do}. two young girls were in line behind me. it was their first election. when i over heard them talking about tweets from bernie, i knew had to talk to them, {since i live with a young bernie supporter}. they were cute girls who were there by the nudging of their mom {who was in line with them, even though she had mailed in her ballot. major mom points for her}. although they were there to vote and knew who they wanted to vote for...they weren't quite as politically savvy as my teenage daughter. in fact, randi could run circles around them. {i think i have a rare, old soul on my hands}.
back to the line...
it was long. just as we were nearing the front, we were told it would be thirty minutes from that point. i was going to be late getting kids. i made some calls and got it handled. {i ended up being thirty minutes late}. the poll workers told us it had been like that all day - all across the valley. wow. i was impressed that so many people had turned out to vote.
we did have a great turn out but, come to find out...we also had idiot leaders make some poor choices when it came to organizing the polls on election day.
when, i finally made it home with kids in tow, i turned on the news. those long lines were the raging  story.  our county recorder had made the brilliant decision to cut polling locations. by, a lot. in 2008 there were 200 stations. 2012 had 400 stations. 2016? 60. i know what you must be thinking. "how could someone {who has been in this elected position for 27 years} be so foolish and irresponsible?" welcome to arizona politics.
just to give an idea of how bad it was on tuesday...
in maricopa county, people were waiting in line up to five hours...casting their vote after midnight.
around the state, voters had an easier time.  apache county: 41 polls, 35k voters. navajo county: 38 polls, 42k voters, maricopa county: 60 polls, 1.25 million voters. and, to pour salt on the wound...when interviewed, helen purcell {county recorder} said it was the voter's fault for going to vote {vs mail in} AND, she did not think it was going to be this big of a turn out. i'm sorry. have you been living under a rock? this is the craziest, most controversial election and she didn't think this many people were going to turn out? voters have been breaking records around the country! for hell's sake, woman!
citizens and politicians are demanding an investigation calling her out on voter fraud. people were not able to vote because of the lines. some neighborhoods did not have polling stations near them. unacceptable. AND, independents {who make up 36% of our voters} are not allowed to vote in az primaries. mr. c could not vote. i only could because, i changed parties before the deadline. ridiculous. regardless of who you are voting for {even those voting for the evil, orange man}, you have the right to vote. it's a great right. a civic duty. a freedom that maricopa county leaders took  away from citizens.

arizona needs an open primary.  all candidates need to be on one ballot, regardless of party. the two candidates with the most votes would compete in the general election. therefore, every registered voter can vote. everyone has a voice.
let's make that happen. check out this website for more info.

all that said...i'm so grateful i was able to vote. i'm happy i had a voice in the election process.
{and, i'm really happy my candidate won arizona}.

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