Maricopa County Elections Office Error a "Dark Political Art," Declares Rachel Maddow

Categories: Election 2012
Rachel Maddow claims a "dark poltiical art" is causing voter suppression here.
It's elections season, which means it's time for claims of "voter suppression" across the country -- claims that will also become convenient excuses after a given candidate loses their election.

That said, it's not too surprising that MSNBC jumped on the Spanish error printed on a handful of elections-registration documents here in Maricopa County, but according to talking head Rachel Maddow, it's a "dark political art."

See also:
-Maricopa County Elections Department Prints Wrong Date in Spanish on a Few Documents; Voter-Suppression Theories Follow

Unless Maddow's privy to the inner workings of the county elections department, that accusation is baseless.

As you may recall, differing voting dates were printed on the papers that the voter-registration card is punched out of. The erroneous information -- telling Spanish-speaking voters that election day is 8 de Noviembre, instead of the 6th -- was only given out to people who picked up an updated card from one of the county's three offices.

An elections-office spokeswoman told New Times only about 50 people pick these up in-person every year, and it's not likely that these erroneous forms were being handed out for a whole year, but the elections department doesn't know exactly how long they were used.

Moreover, you'd have to consider how many of those people are Spanish-speakers, and how many people relied on that information alone. So, it's certainly within the realm of possibility that more than 50 people will try to vote two days late, and it's certainly possible that zero people will show up to the polls after the election based on that information.

"Will those people get the right information somehow? Nobody knows," Maddow says in the segment, which you can see below. "Whether it's by mistake, or lack of effort, or outright intent, creating confusion is its own form of voter suppression."

According to our highly unscientific reader poll, most people found the error suspicious, but county elections department spokeswoman Yvonne Reed assured New Times it was a simple mistake, and there's "really nothing there."

On the other hand, here's your eight minute clip of Maddow telling her viewers that voter suppression is going on all over the country, including Maricopa County:

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

It's like Arizona is another country. A country full of ignorant people who elect other ignorant people like Sheriff Joe and Jan Brewer. Try to stay in the shade more often.


outrageous! heads should roll at maricopa elections.   are the people responsible being fired?  we need accountability! demand it! 

ExpertShot topcommenter

This is just a smokescreen for the REAL voter fraud being perpetrated by REpublicants in Arizona:  Check out this reader Comment from ABC 15's news story on the issue:he Supreme Court ruled that Arizona's ID requirements to register to vote were unlawful. After this ruling, thousands of students at UofA, ASU, NAU and other schools in Arizona registered using the FEDERAL FORM since many do not have Arizona driver's licenses.  Many others, much as 10,000 voters have used the federal form to register.


ALL County Recorders in Arizona are holding these registrations in "suspense" having been instructed to do so by the Secretary of State, Ken Bennett.


This means that about 10,000 TOTALLY QUALIFIED CITIZENS have:

    > NOT received mail-in ballots

    > NOT received information about polling places, sample ballots, election guides, date of election (not even a wrong date), etc.

    > And NOT been notified in any way that there is any problem with their registrations or requests for mail-in ballots 


Read more:


One vote could change the election.  "Only about 50 people pick these up...every year."  What about in an election year?  Doesn't sound like they really have any idea how many erroneous cards were distributed.  Whether it was intentional or not, it's another black eye for AZ.  And when you consider our governor, legislature and sheriff, I can understand why people would be suspicious.  

ExpertShot topcommenter

Thank you for posting that clip from Rachael Maddow's show.  She was very careful to make sure the information she presented was accurate, it was.  Arizona, including Maricopa COunty has had a voter suppression law on the books for quite some time.  Proposition 200 was even overturned as unconstitutional!  The Supreme Court will be deciding to uphold the 9th Circuit Court's decision.  There IS voter suppression being attempted in Arizona and Rachael Maddow was right to point it out.  The main point that she made was that whether there were actual laws in place or not, the impression that the uninformed potential voter may get is that they are not eligible to vote because they don't have the proper documents.  It is likely that over 7 million voters nationwide may be caught up in the various voter suppression activities taking place across the country.  I know some of the employees in the Elections Dept. They work really hard and do a great job of identifying people who are not properly registered to vote.  There are VERY few cases.  These employees cross-check voters against multiple databases.  They were a little upset that voters would put in place a law which essentially duplicates what they do, adding another layer of beauracracy to government.  


I dislike our law which requires an id at the polls too - every election day I bring my mail-in ballot to the polling place.  When I check in and they ask me for an ID, I pull out the mail in ballot and say - I DO NOT NEED AN ID TO VOTE. THey are forced to let me go to a polling booth and vote and I make a big deal about not needing an ID. These republicants want to crow about how they hate government bureacracy but then they use it when it suits their needs - voter suppression.  It's a disgusting examply of hypocrisy at work.


It accomplishes the same thing as not having to have an ID to vote and makes a point - the Voter ID laws are useless government bureacracy being placed as a burden upon the taxpayer and the voter. 


Here's an article that Mr. Hendley may want to read before next attempting to pull a rabbit out of his hat for us.  His article attempts to make a point that Ms. Maddow is inflating the problem in Arizona over what it really is.  Who is this guy?

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @narizona i am not going to come right out and say this was done intentionally (although, after you posted the new story link, i am most definitely going to suggest it). the way it works in printing (when i did it for years, doing government jobs occasionally) is- you have someone at your company come up with what you want, and you approve all the pertinent info in it (dates, etc., etc.) you then have it sent to the print company.  they will design the layout and submit it for your approval (where you have all the data proofread). it then goes to be run off a few times to make sure everything is okay and again reproofed and given to you to show the finished product. on any government job we did, quality control was there constantly double checking all data on it. in order to change something as simple as a single number, you would have to stop the whole job and go back to the art department and restart the whole process, so i dont think the wrong date was only on a few things. every so many units that come out, a sample is taken and quality control checked before the job is continued. so for something like this to happen, not once, but twice? the odds of that happening are so astronomical , somebody should be playing the lottery.



 Rachel, the liberal he/she is the only one trying to make a big deal out of 12, count them 12 misprinted ballots other than yourself eh drama queen.

danzigsdaddy topcommenter

 @narizona between the state, and the company that printed everything that had the wrong dates, there had to be a bare minimum of 10 people who missed this. and when you figure in that it is a government job, you should actually double that number. 

ExpertShot topcommenter

 @godhatesdems  @ExpertShot 12 is more than the cases of actual voter fraud the Republicants alleged occurred at voting polls which supposedly caused them to put Prop 200 on the ballot in the first place!!!!  And I'm the drama queen.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault