Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan sat and listened while Arizona voters took the microphone to explain to her their personal experiences and frustrations during the March 22, Presidential Preference Election.
The meeting, held at the Cartwright School District Headquarters, was attended by about 30 voters. Some shared their opinions and others listened. Reagan made her goal clear: to listen, understand and, in turn, prevent the fiasco of the March 22 election from happening again.
Some of the voters talked of voter suppression. Some called for Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder, to resign. Others, however, attended the meeting with hopes of moving forward and commended Reagan for reaching out.
“How often do we have a Secretary of State coming out to our barrio, our neighborhood? We haven’t had it,” said Lydia Hernandez, a Phoenix voter. “So, the attention, and the fact that she was out here, to me, doing her due diligence and making sure she gets her feedback, I love that.”
Voters were asked to fill out forms explaining what their experiences were like.
Ted Montijo, an Arizona native and veteran, explained that he was discouraged by the news of the lines and did not cast his ballot.
“We should have the privilege to vote, which we were denied. Who is responsible for this? I don’t know,” he said. “They need to get this issue straightened out for future voting elections.”
Dr. Jacob A. Chavez, superintendent of Cartwright School District, offered his own solution to the lack of polling places.
“We are willing to offer 20 of our schools to be polling places,” Chavez said.
Reagan seemed to be grateful for the offer and thanked voters for sharing their stories.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Church of the Beatitudes, located at 555 West Glendale Avenue in Phoenix.