Chapter 4: Closing of polling stations.
Sixty polling places for 1.25 million eligible voters spawned stories like this one:
“Both my son and my daughter’s first primary were ruined by Maricopa counter voter suppression tactics. I know of at least 10 other Bernie supporters that either didn’t vote because of the lines, or their long-term Democrat affiliation was somehow reset to independent and their vote also wasn’t counted. Only because I asked for a mail-in ballot months in advance and made sure that I was registered Dem; I was able to vote along with my wife.
I did have to drop the ballot off at the polling station because I missed the mail-in deadline. Even then, I went to my normal polling location and there was NOTHING there. I called my wife and had her drop it off at the other station against INSANE traffic. While I was at my normal station, other people showed up and they were confused also. I can only imagine how hard it was to figure out for a newbie. I’m pretty upset about the whole thing. This isn’t your normal election. I’m no internet conspiracy theorist, but there are some real fishy things going on. I’d like to see the entire vote on Tuesday thrown out and redone with ALL the polling stations open.
It also happened in Rhode Island:
What’s suspicious about this happening in Rhode Island is that it seems to have been a more spontaneous decision. Furthermore,
One of ours? The staffer seems to be suggesting that they should somehow address this problem with a state governor who is on Hillary’s “side” (and also the DNC’s “side”). The decision to open less polls was made close to voting time, when Bernie Sanders was leading in the polls.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign depended on higher turnout, so closing of polling stations was a structural disadvantage for him. Once again, the DNC and other Clinton allies knew this.
The rest of this post is worth reading if you’re looking for details on various instances of voter suppression, particularly against likely Sanders voters (e.g. college campuses). Polling stations in Sanders-heavy areas sure seemed to “run out of ballots” often.
At least some of the poll closings, in some areas, were due to a gutting of the Voting Rights Act. The DNC are not the only group who made voting more difficult — though it should be noted that the Democratic Party has failed to preserve the VRA. All sources of voter suppression should be addressed.
The Puerto Rico elections were perhaps the most shady of all. While there is no smoking “proof” that the DNC, or Democratic Party specifically, was behind what happened in Puerto Rico, it was a massively corrupted election that benefited Hillary Clinton:
One popular and well-cited post on the “Sanders for President” Reddit begins:
Just to confirm, here are the results of the 2016 primaries: a total of ~88,000 votes were eventually counted.
And here were the results of the 2008 primaries, with nearly 400,000 votes in total:
Like the debates, we will never know exactly how the manipulation of polling stations affected Sanders. All we can say is that it did hurt his vote count, and it was only one of many ways that hurt his vote count.
Voter suppression is not a new phenomenon. But it certainly took place in 2016, and contributed to Sanders’ loss.