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Arizona’s Long Voting Lines Showed How Democracy is Broken. Here’s How to Fix it


Arizona’s Long Voting Lines Showed How Democracy is Broken. Here’s How to Fix it.

Erik Opsal

While Americans waited for election results on Tuesday, some voters in Arizona waited five hours or more just to cast a ballot — long after the polls closed. “Eventually, I gave up at 6:40 p.m. when I saw the line at its longest, at least 2-3 hours,” one Maricopa County voter told the Arizona Republic. “This was the first time in my life I genuinely felt disenfranchised.”


Political parties become religified and the result is that the "ends justifies the means" (dis)ethic takes hold. George Washington knew this and warned us against the establishment of political parties. The oligarchs have bought both parties, but populists are challenging each. Please, oh please, let's get a Sanders vs. Trump ballot this November.


Those machines should not be there in the first place, without all safeguards proposed by knowledgeable professional that have testified as to how easily they are hacked!

Elections are stolen quite often.


Say what?

For a stated university level (former) teacher, you have an interesting concept of language.


I enjoy screwing with spell check every now and then.


Ask yourself, why can the federal reserve clear millions of transactions through the automated clearing house daily (Monday through Friday except on holidays) with very few mistakes and we cannot count votes?


Stalin answered your question before most of us reading this were born.

Mail-in paper ballots provide the best audit trail in today's voting environment and are working relatively well in states that have adopted them.


I have a simpler more effective way to fix this problem which exists not only in AZ, but across the country. All states have a vote-by-mail primary on the same day, to be determined by a bipartisan federal panel. Each state would send out ballots to registered voters at least two weeks before the primary and the voters would have to drop off or mail in their ballots to be post marked on or before voting day. The costs of the election would be shared between the states and the federal government and the ballots would be standardized to be tabulated by vote counting machines. The results should be available over a two or three day period beyond the actual voting day. This would be much less expensive than the current mixed up and vulnerable system of so many different ballot processes across the country. If we can't expect fair and accessable primary races to choose our candidates for the General Election, we do not have a functioning democracy.


I live in the State of Washington and our statewide mail-in ballot system is nearly flawless, timely, and inexpesive compared with the old system of setting up polling places with hundreds of thousands of voting machines and staff to oversee them, not to mention the vulnerability and unaccountability of computerized black box voting machines. I believe mail-in paper ballot are the only way to go. They can be counted by hand if necessary, they are always available in case of errors or of challenges and recounts, and they are convenient. No more long lines in the dark and cold, no more shenanigans by those who would suppress voters, and it is very efficient. The only reason NOT to go to all mail in ballots is that it takes the power away from special interests and dishonest party operatives.


I don't agree. We need systems that are the most secure and least hackable. Electronic voting is not the way to go because it is immenently possible to hack electronic voting machines or online voting. If the Defense Dept. can be hacked you can be sure voting machines or online voting system can be. Paper mail-in ballots that can be machine tabulated and verified is the most practical and accountable method because in the case of questionable results or recounts you always have the paper ballot. Our elections are much to important to trust to hackable and tamperable electronic voting.


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This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Oregon has been all mail-in for longer than Washington and it has worked just as well as Washington's all mail-in has.


I am happy to hear Oregon's vote-by-mail system works well. My daughter lives in Ashland and she is excited about voting for Bernie.


My name is Randi, and I’m a Producer for an upcoming documentary following the lives of people who are voting or considering voting in this election.

One of the stories we’d like to share is that of a person who had waited in line for 3+ hours in order to vote in this year's Primaries. If you or someone you know had experienced long lines at your polling location, we would love to hear your story.

If interested, please send me a PM or e-mail me - Randi@stickfigureproductions.com