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.