We the people ask for a revote of the Arizona primary due to voter suppression. Many registered voters who registered Democrat/Republican before the cut off or who have been registered Democrat/Republican for many years are being turned down due to the mislabeling of their registered party for the primary. We ask that this immediately be corrected and fixed and allow the residents of Arizona to participate in a revote for honest Arizona primary voting results.
Response to Petition
The decision whether to investigate a potential violation of federal law, including those related to elections, rests with the Department of Justice, the White House plays no role in this decision. The decision on whether a revote should take place is a matter of state law, or a matter for the courts.
We are therefore declining to comment on the specific request in your petition. As the We the People Terms of Participation explain, to "avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government."
Read the full Terms of Participation here to learn more about We the People’s guidelines for use.
How the President is Working to Break Down Voting Barriers
As a more general policy matter, President Obama has repeatedly expressed concern for how difficult it can be for people to vote. In March 2016 the President said:
"We’re the only advanced democracy in the world that makes it harder for people to vote…it’s sad. We take enormous pride in the fact that we are the world’s oldest continuous democracy, and yet we systematically put up barriers and make it as hard as possible for our citizens to vote. And it is much easier to order a pizza or a trip than it is for you to exercise the single most important task in a democracy, and that is for you to select who is going to represent you in government."
In March 2013, the President established the bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, co-chaired by Bob Bauer, the General Counsel for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, and Ben Ginsburg, the National Counsel for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. The President created the 10-person Commission after his 2013 State of the Union pledge to identify nonpartisan ways to address some of the concerns identified after the 2012 election. The Commission was tasked with identifying bipartisan ways to shorten lines at polling places, promote the efficient conduct of elections, and provide better access to the polls for all voters.
As Bauer and Ginsburg described it: “Our aim was to transcend partisan divisions and view election administration as a public administration that must heed the expressed interests and expectations of voters.” At the beginning of 2014, the Commission delivered a report recommending commonsense strategies such as expanded early voting, online registration to reduce barriers to voting, and addressing the impending crisis in voting technology. As the Commission described it, “the problems that hinder the efficient administration of elections are both identifiable and solvable.” Though officially disbanded, the Commission’s co-chairs continue to advocate for nationwide implementation of their recommendations.
In addition, the congressionally-created Election Administration Commission (EAC) is tasked with helping states comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. After being nominated by the President and unanimous Senate Confirmation, three (two Republicans and one Democrat) of the four possible Commissioners were sworn in on January 13, 2015. The fourth seat remains unfilled. The EAC provides public guidance and technical assistance on a number of election administration matters, including: provisional voting, voting information, voting equipment, voter registration databases, and voter identification, so they may be an alternate resource from which to seek assistance.
This Administration continues to look for ways to make it easier for people to participate in government.
On National Voter Registration Day in September, 2015, the General Services Administration launched www.vote.gov, which provides state-specific voter registration assistance. For example, for Arizona voters the site directs individuals to a State of Arizona website where voters may check their registration status and the party with which they registered.
Later this year, the White House will host a Summit on Civic Engagement to highlight ways the Obama administration is helping citizens engage with their democracy, their government, and their communities. Because as the President has said:
“We reach our full potential when every American participates.”
So once again, thank you for sharing your views on this platform. We encourage you to continue to raise your voices, and we will update you on the related actions President Obama is taking on this issue.
-- We the People Team