From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Supported by: ACLU, NALEO, Common Sense
Co-Sponsors: Ann Kirkpatrick, Ruben Gallego, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ted Lieu, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Conyers, Jr., Gregory W. Meeks, Brian Higgins, Debbie Wasserman Schultz
The Arizona primary election emphasized the need for the restoration of the Voting Rights Act. As Arizonans went to the polls to cast ballots in the presidential primaries, many faced lines lasting up to five hours, as well as voter ID, registration and party affiliation errors.
Voters faced compacted issues on the day of the primary election. In addition to voters not having polling location information, they had difficulty accessing them. Some polling locations were not equipped to accommodate disabled voters, and further appalling, many polling locations were not adequately stocked with ballots.
Maricopa County cut polling locations from 200 in previous elections to just 60 this year. While most counties in the state averaged one polling place for every 2,500 eligible voters, Maricopa averaged
one for every 21,000. The 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision eliminated a safeguard that would have prevented Maricopa County from cutting 70 percent of polling locations without oversight.
I am introducing the Voting Access Act, which requires the Elections Assistance Commission to establish federal minimum standards for voter access to polling locations, ballot information, and protections from harassment to preclude voters from experiencing this ever again. The bill also authorizes funding to aid states in complying with the new standards. Lastly, it requires the Elections Assistance Commission to issue a report on the frequency of party affiliation misidentification issues nation-wide.
Immediate action is needed to protect the right to vote and prevent voters from experiencing further voter disenfranchisement. Please join me in introducing this bill that will ensure there are at least-minimum- federal standards to make voting accessible again. The deadline to sign on to this bill as an original cosponsor is
NOON TODAY. For more information, please contact Yesenia Chavez in my office at 5-2435/
Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress