Presente | #AdiosHelen: Restore Democracy in Arizona
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#AdiosHelen: Restore Democracy in Arizona

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    The Message

    Dear Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell:

    Arizona’s recent primary election was a disaster, especially in Maricopa County. You are responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement that thousands of Arizona voters, including many new and Latino voters, experienced at polling sites in your county and across the state. For the good of our democracy, and for the integrity of the upcoming elections in November, we demand that you resign now and make way for another County Recorder to do the job you’ve failed to do in at least two major elections.

    No one should have to stand in line for more than five hours to vote or be told their vote will not count. Aracely Calderon, a recently naturalized immigrant from Guatemala, arrived at one of the few polling places that was still open at 7 p.m. and wasn’t able to vote until after midnight! Aracely’s story is similar to thousands of people who experienced long delays and mass confusion under your watch.

    With more than 30% of Maricopa County identifying as Latino, and polling places in many predominantly Latino neighborhoods closed, it’s hard not to see your election strategy as a plan to prevent Latinos, people of color, young people, and other first time voters from participating in our nation’s democracy. Even if you tell yourself and others that this wasn’t the intent of your plan, it was clearly its effect.

    This isn’t the first time an election you were responsible for has been a disaster. You might recall the efforts of Presente.org members to force you to count hundreds of thousands of votes that could have swung the election against the racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It took you weeks to count those votes and this was after you sent out the wrong date for that election as a misleading “reminder” to Spanish speaking voters.

    At least two of the major elections you’ve presided over have been a complete disaster. For the good of Maricopa County, for the good of our country and our democracy, we demand that you resign immediately.

    Sincerely,

    [your name]

    Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell has done it again.

    As the top official in charge of making sure every eligible person can vote and that every vote is counted in Arizona’s most populous county, Helen Purcell created and presided over another disaster of an election. For the good of the country, and to ensure the integrity of upcoming elections, it’s time for her to resign. #AdiosHelen

    This election, Helen Purcell shut down polling places all over Maricopa County, many in predominantly Latino neighborhoods, as a part of a so-called “cost saving” plan. The result? People all over Maricopa County had to wait hours to vote or were told their vote would not count; and many more were discouraged from ever voting. Aracely Calderon, a recently naturalized immigrant from Guatemala reported waiting over five hours to vote. She arrived at one of the few polling places that was kept open until 7 p.m. and wasn’t able to cast her vote until after midnight!

    With more than 30% of Maricopa County identifying as Latino it’s hard not to see Helen Purcell’s strategy as a plan to prevent Latinos, people of color, young people, and other first time voters from participating in our nation’s democracy. Even if Purcell tells herself and others that this wasn’t her intent, it was clearly the effect of her plan.

    This isn’t the first election Helen Purcell has been responsible for that has been a disaster. In 2012, Presente members forced Helen Purcell to count hundreds of thousands of votes that could have swung the election against the racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It took weeks to count those votes and they could have swung the election against Sheriff Arpaio. This after Purcell sent out the wrong date for that election as a “reminder” to Spanish speaking voters.

    Just one of these disasters should have been enough for Helen Purcell to lose her job. Now, there should be no question that for the good of the country, and for integrity of our democracy, Helen Purcell should resign immediately. She needs to make way for a Maricopa County Recorder that’s more concerned with making sure every eligible person votes, and that all their votes count, than she is with “cost saving” plans that prevent Latinos from voting.

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