PHOENIX - The Democratic National Committee and the Arizona Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Friday morning in federal court over the voting disaster that was Arizona's presidential preference election.
The lawsuit names the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, Secretary of State Michele Reagan, Maricopa County recorder Helen Purcell, Maricopa County elections director Karen Osborne and Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich as defendants.
The suit quotes Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton's March 23 letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, saying those in charge of Arizona election has engaged in "consistent activity that has created a culture of voter disenfranchisement."
In a Thursday email announcing the DNC's plan to file the suit, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz wrote, "We all watched in sadness and frustration as Arizona voters waited in lines up to five hours long to cast a ballot in the March primary. The Republican election officials who decided to reduce polling locations by 70 percent in order to cut costs later admitted they never considered the impact these actions would have on Black, Hispanic or Native American communities.
"We know that actions like this -- disregarding and disenfranchising thousands of voters -- were easier because the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act."
The provision Schultz referenced was Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court voted to reverse in 2013. Section 5 had required Arizona -- along with several other states deemed to have histories of discrimination -- to get federal approval before carrying out components of its voting plan, including voting locations.
Critics have argued that the striking down of Section 5 has allowed for voter suppression.
For the 2012 election, there were 200 polling places. For the 2016 presidential preference election, there were 60.