Written by AZI Staff Writer
Photos by Rod Grimes
Phoenix – Last week the Arizona Commission of African American Affairs in conjunction with the Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan hosted a Voters’ Town Hall at the Tanner Chapel AME Church in downtown Phoenix. Approximately 50 people showed up to voice their displeasure about the method in which the Presidential Preference Election was held on March 22. More specifically, about the poor planning in Maricopa County by County Election officials.
It was obvious that the tension had died down from the three previous discussions held by Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan. She commented, “This meeting is clearly less hostile than others, most people here tonight are very calm.”
Since the March 22 debacle voters in Arizona have been calling for a “re-vote,” claiming that their right to vote was abused and should therefore be entitled to vote again. Some people in the audience even said they were so discouraged that they left after hours of waiting in line and did not vote at all.
Gary Flunoy, a 25-year Phoenix resident noted, “People were very upset, yet they remained friendly towards each other. Several individuals went out on pizza runs and helped relieve senior citizens in line from standing too long. Even though it was very uncomfortable, people remained to exercise their right to vote.”
Venetia Anderson added, “I have been working the polls for several years now. What I would like to see is more Black people willing to work the polls. Too many times, I walk in and see no Black faces. It is time to get fully involved!”
All who wished to speak were provided the opportunity and the town hall continued for over two hours. “This is a chance for our community to voice their concerns in an open forum. I am happy to see that we have many citizens who came tonight to offer solutions as well,” stated Cloves Campbell, executive director of the commission. The commission will hold a town hall meeting in Yuma on Thursday, May 5 at the Veterans Assisted Living 2600 S. 4th Ave. Registration starts at 5:30. The meeting is scheduled from 6:00 to 8 p.m. For more information call 602-542-5484.