Washington: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its White House candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on Friday sued Arizona state on behalf of several voters who waited up to six hours to cast their ballots in the March primaries.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Pic/AFP
The lawsuit was filed in a Phoenix federal court on Friday representing seven voters who had to wait up to six hours to vote, EFE news reported on Saturday.
The lawsuit said that delays affected Latino, African American and Native American voters, and focuses especially on the decisions of the authorities in Maricopa county, the most populous region of the state.
The suit inquired why for the primaries on March 22, this county reduced the number of available polling stations to 60, when in 2012 there were 200, a provision which caused huge queues even after the polling closed.
Plaintiffs include the first president of the Navajo Nation, Peterson Zah, and the Senate campaign of Ann Kirkpatrick who aims to replace Republican John McCain.
The suit points out that Arizona has a long history of discrimination against minority groups and questioned the decision of the state's elections department's decision to reject provisional tickets at an "alarming number".
It also indicated that the rights of minority voters could be violated in future elections as a result of a recently approved law by the state legislature, which makes it a crime for an individual to submit a ticket signed and stamped at a polling station in the name of another voter.
"Democrats believe our country is stronger when every voice is heard and every vote is counted, and we will keep fighting to make sure the sacred right of every American to vote is protected," said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a press release.
The plaintiffs requested that the rights of all residents of Arizona be protected during the upcoming general election on November 8, and that the court orders Maricopa county to present a plan specifying the locations and numbers of voting centres that will be available.