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(960 posts)
Mon May 23, 2016, 02:51 PM May 2016

Democracy is OK if the votes go MY WAY 2.

Voter Suppression and Exit Poll Discrepancies in the Democratic Primaries

Voter Suppression

Insufficient polling places in Maricopa County
In this Tuesday’s Arizona Democratic primary, Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona, reduced the number of polling places open compared to 2012 from over 200 to 60. Consequently, people spent entire work days waiting in line to vote, as voting lines stretched for over half a mile. Undoubtedly, many of them had to leave before voting, in order to avoid missing work, which I’m sure many of them could ill afford. The County recorder justified this blatant incident of voter suppression by claiming that “turnout is traditionally low” in Maricopa County. CBS reporter Joe Dana put this incident in perspective: the “2012 primary had 300,000 voters and 200 polling places. 2016 primary had 800,000 voters at 60 polling places. Polling places in densely populated Latino neighborhoods were particular targets for closure.

Numerous Democrats in AZ were mistakenly listed as independents
Consequently, because independents are not allowed to vote in the AZ primary, these voters were not allowed to vote. I don’t know the details of this issue. Were these recently independent voters who joined the Democratic Party close to the date of the primary in order to cast their vote for one of the candidates? (a perfectly legal thing to do). In any event, this mistake was never rectified.

Arizona was called for Clinton while people were still waiting in line to vote
Because of all the delays, many people were still in line waiting to vote when Arizona was called early for Clinton, with 1% of the vote in. A declaration of victory while people are waiting to vote is likely to discourage many people from voting.

Why does voter suppression hurt Sanders?
One might think that voter suppression in a party primary would not necessarily favor one candidate or the other. Of course, that all depends on whether or not the suppression was targeted at one candidate or the other. At this time I know of no good evidence that shows that to be the case.

However, one thing that must be considered is that, in general, any across the board voter suppression favors Clinton over Sanders. The reason for that is that Clinton did far better than Sanders across the board, in early voting, compared to Election Day voting, which took place largely when Bernie Sanders was hardly known to voters.

Consider Arizona, where voter suppression was especially marked. The election was called for Clinton with only 1% of the vote in, when she was ahead by a margin of 61.5% to 36.1%. All of that total reflected early voting. Yet, with 17% of the vote in (I don’t have later data on this), Sanders was leading Clinton in Election Day voting, by a small amount. Thus, any voter suppression would elevate the importance of early voting in determining the final statewide results and thus affect the delegate count in favor of the candidate who did better in early voting.

Conclusion on voter suppression
We don’t know for sure that the voter suppression in Arizona (and Ohio, where many voting precincts ran out of ballots before the polls closed and caused many potential voters to lose their chance to vote) was targeted at one candidate or the other. But to think that voter suppression didn’t happen in Arizona, where the most populous county in the state reduced the number of polling places from 200 to 60 and ended up with voting lines half a mile long, sounds naïve to me. This kind of thing begs for an investigation, aimed at discovering the cause and preventing future episodes during this primary season. Therefore, please consider signing this petition to the White House requesting that these episodes be investigated promptly.

Exit poll discrepancies

Background: The great exit poll discrepancy controversy of the 2004 Presidential Election
Those of you who spent much time on DU during the 2004 Presidential election and the months and years that followed will remember the great exit poll discrepancy of 2004, in which, according to national exit polls John Kerry won the national vote, whereas George W. Bush won the national vote according to the official vote count. The difference between the exit polls and the official vote count was about 4%. The difference was particularly great in the important swing states, where slight differences in the vote count might make a difference between winning and losing. But there was only one state where it did make a difference, and that was Ohio, where the exit poll discrepancy was over 6%. Ohio would have given the election to John Kerry.

Full post and author information can be found here: Democratic Underground
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Democracy is OK if the votes go MY WAY 2. (Original Post) insta8er May 2016 OP
More desperation showing by Sanders supporters. tonyt53 May 2016 #1
And boy oh boy are we in total desperation, while you seem to relish in victory right? insta8er May 2016 #3
US elections are a mess. HassleCat May 2016 #2
It has a republican registrar of votes Fresh_Start May 2016 #4
Super-delegates are not OK unless ..." n/t pampango May 2016 #5


(6,409 posts)
2. US elections are a mess.
Mon May 23, 2016, 02:57 PM
May 2016

Not just primaries, but general elections as well, although the primaries seem worse. When some developing nation runs its elections this way, we get all huffy and preach about democracy and fairness and blah, blah, blah.

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