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Why Bernie Sanders Must Challenge AZ Primary Results

Updated on April 3, 2016
Line of voters waiting to vote in primary in AZ
Line of voters waiting to vote in primary in AZ

As Sanders campaign attorney Chris Sautter calls the AZ Democratic primary debacle "as bad" as the 2000 presidential election voter disenfranchisement issues in Florida, the campaign has said it is weighing legal action. American University law professor Sautter told the Maricopa County Board of Elections last week:

"I was in Florida in 2000, beginning the morning after the election, and this election is pretty close to as bad as that one in terms of how it was conducted and the mess in the aftermath,"

Possibly many thousands of Arizona voters did not get to cast votes, after waiting hours in the AZ sun, because, just coincidentally we are to believe, AZ officials did not set up enough polling places in precincts where Bernie Sanders was expected to do well. In addition, voter rolls were not updated after thousands of people were incorrectly listed as "independent," even though they had registered specifically to vote in the AZ primary.

Stories abound of sprinklers going on as the sun set on Arizona, people in wheelchairs, people on short breaks from work, people crying because they would not be able to vote.

These are now matters of established fact, after a raucous hearing attended by hundreds of angry voters elicited an apology from Helen Purcell, the county's top election official. Nevertheless, the media ran with headlines like "Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Score Key Western Victories" and "Clinton Cruises, Sanders Wilts in AZ Primary."

Headline After AZ Primary
Headline After AZ Primary

Of course the headlines served to reinforce the carefully crafted image of Sanders being the candidate coming that close, but never close enough, to a breakthrough which overtakes Clinton. It always happens in states deemed critical points in the race, like Massachusetts or Arizona.

The trouble is, nobody knows who really won in AZ, because the scale of the - let's call it what it is, voter suppression - means the will of the voters might actually be quite different than what the media portrayed.

And here is where the point must be made: that this is not even really about Bernie. It is about the hard work of thousands and even millions of people who in good faith worked their hearts out to make a difference in the world, in their children's future, and in the direction the country is taking. It's about people and their almost piteous 10 and 20 dollar donations to Sanders, every time they can afford it, over and over.

That work is not really the Sanders campaign's to throw away.

The AZ case is solid. Thousands are waiting to testify before any court in the land about how their vote could not be cast, or was not properly counted. And it could make a difference in the delegate count. Moreover, digging in for a fight in AZ would serve notice on elections officials in upcoming primaries that Sanders voters and the Sanders campaign will not roll over for shenanigans. Twitter hashtags #RevoteOrRevolt and #ArizonaElectionFraud are viral.

What has Hillary Clinton got to lose? Maybe all those voters were lined up for her, and she'll get even more delegates. Let's find out. File suit to do over the AZ primary.

RELATED: "Arizona Voters Don't Want Excuses, They Want to be Counted. Do Over AZ Primary"


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