Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County cut the number of polling places from 200 in the last presidential election to 60 in last week’s primary.
That led to massive lines in polling places, especially in areas of historically marginalized and underrepresented populations, and charges of voter disenfranchisement.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has called for a Justice Department investigation.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) supports voting rights and is part of a coalition of civil rights organizations that is urging Congress to restore voting rights gutted by a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
The NASW Arizona Chapter (NASWAZ) praised Mayor Stanton’s request for the investigation and sent a letter on March 28 in support of his decision. Part of their letter read:
The location and accessibility of available polling places is of great concern to NASWAZ. The polling place to resident ratio was more favorable in majority Anglo and
affluent areas. Historically marginalized and underrepresented populations such as those of low-socioeconomic status and minorities were
left to bear the burden of the longest wait times to vote.
Here is the full NASW Arizona Chapter Letter.
For more information on NASW position on voting rights reforms search for “voting rights” on NASW’s Social Work Blog. You can also contact NASW Social Justice and Human Rights Manager Mel Wilson at email@example.com.