Ben Margiott and Jessica Swarner

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Reagan certifies primary results amid Department of Justice investigation

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan certified the results of the presidential preference election Monday, but controversy over the March 22 election is far from over.

The Department of Justice contacted the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office Friday evening to request information pertaining to the March primary election, said Elizabeth Bartholomew, communications manager for the office.

Reagan said in a press conference Monday that her office would welcome any federal inquiry, although her office has yet to be contacted by the Department of Justice.

The investigation is continued fallout from the election that left some voters in line for over five hours, long after major cable television networks had declared Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton winners in the state.

In spite of long lines and many voters being turned away at the polls for various reasons, Reagan’s official canvass confirmed that the 2016 presidential preference election saw a slight uptick in turnout as compared to the last significant primary election in Arizona.

Fifty-two percent of registered voters cast ballots this year, up from 51 percent in 2008.

Reagan hinted that turnout could have been higher if the election had run smoothly.

“I wanted to see record turnout. I wanted to see young, enthused voters at the polls. This was not anyone’s first choice of how they wanted to see the voter experience,” Reagan said. “You don’t spend six or seven months running around the state, trying to register new people and trying to get them excited about an upcoming election only to see them feel so completely left out of the process.”

The deadline for the recorder’s office to submit information to the Department of Justice is April 22, but Bartholomew said Monday that the office is “fully cooperating” and plans to be finished much earlier.

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

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