DOJ warned that the state could still be open to lawsuits if the Internet-based polling stations make it more difficult for minorities to vote
The Justice Department has approved Arizona's plan to use Internet-based
polling stations as part of its March 11 presidential primary election,
but not without reservations.
DOJ, in a Feb. 24 letter to the Arizona Democratic Party, acknowledged concerns
that Internet-based polling stations may not be as accessible to some minority
communities, which could lead to lawsuits.
Internet-based polling stations are expected to increase voter turnout because
they enable people to vote from any Internet-ready polling station in the
state, not just from their precinct.
But if nonminority voters have easier access to such sites, the Internet-based
polling stations could increase their impact on the vote, because they would
potentially be turning out in even greater numbers.
If that proves to be the case, Internet-based voting would violate the Voting
Rights Act of 1965, the department said. So although Attorney General Janet
Reno will not block the use of Internet-based polling stations, that decision
"does not bar subsequent litigation to enjoin the enforcement of the changes,"
DOJ also said it was willing to work with the state on its outreach efforts
aimed at ensuring the full participation of Native American, Hispanic and
other minority voters.
Arizona is committed to making the election both accessible and inclusive,
state officials said in a statement.
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