Nov 10, 2012 No Comments ›› Dinah Tellya
Excerpted from The Hill: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday that Arizona must work faster to count 525,000 outstanding votes.
In all, 1.8 million votes were cast in the state. Reid said he is concerned that nearly one-third of Arizona’s votes — including 350,000 from Maricopa County, which is home to Phoenix — remain unaccounted for.
“All of the votes in Arizona must be counted promptly, accurately and equally. The uncounted votes in Maricopa County alone represent a major portion of the total votes cast in Arizona on Tuesday,” Reid said in a statement.
Reid alluded to potential abuse of minority voters.
In his comments, Reid mentioned that the Supreme Court would consider a challenge to the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters. Specifically, the court will deliberate a portion of the law that makes states with a history of discrimination get federal approval before changing voting laws.
“In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear challenges to the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. That right is not secure when some votes are counted while others are suppressed or ignored. I expect state and local officials in Arizona to ensure that every vote is counted promptly, accurately and equally,” Reid said.
Several states have tried to push ahead with voter identification and registration laws that Democrats and others say are designed to make it harder for minorities to vote.
Democrats say those policies disproportionately handicap black and Hispanic voters, who are less likely to have a form of government-issued identification than whites. They say such policies would suppress minority voters, who are also traditionally Democratic voters.
Republicans say the restrictions are not burdensome, adding that the measures protect against voter fraud.