The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is calling on the state to open its presidential primary to independent voters. The announcement comes after tens of thousands of voters were forced to cast provisional ballots on Tuesday, many of which will end up not being counted, because the voters are not registered members of the Republican, Democratic, or Green parties.
“One way we can fix things is to simplify them,” Ducey said, in a statement. “That means allowing independents to vote in presidential primaries, just as they vote in all other Arizona primaries. A big part of yesterday’s problem was registered voters showing up, and being told they couldn’t vote. That’s just wrong. If people want to take the time to vote they should be able to, and their vote should be counted.”
The Arizona Republic reports that in one county alone, Maricopa County, 23,000 voters showed up to vote in the presidential preference election, but were forced to fill out a provisional ballot, many of which the secretary of state says will end up not being counted because they are independent voters.
There are currently over 1.2 million voters registered independent in Arizona — over a third of the registered electorate. This means the largest group of voters in the state are not a member of a political party, yet they are told they cannot vote in a publicly-funded election, and if they try, they have to fill out a provisional ballot that won’t be counted.
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan and Governor Ducey have announced their support for ending taxpayer funding of presidential preference elections and forcing the parties to cover the cost of these elections. A bill recently passed the state House that would end the public funding of these elections.
Read the full report from The Arizona Republic here.