Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County cut the number of polling places from 200 to 60 in the March primary for the presidential election. 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 (NASW-AZ) 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 NASW-AZ. 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.