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Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan to look into long voter wait times

Voters wait in line to cast their ballot in Arizona's presidential primary election, Tuesday, March 22, 2016, in Gilbert, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan will look into long voter wait times during the Arizona presidential preference election, she announced Wednesday.

“The issues that arose with the amount of time voters had to stand in line, confusion surrounding eligibility and other issues are completely unacceptable and my office will launch a full-scale statewide review of county election policies and procedures,” she said in a release.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has called for a federal investigation into the wait times, while Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell placed some blame on the voter before walking back her statement.

Reagan said she has no answers as to why Maricopa County election officials decided to cut down to 60 polling places instead of the typical 200, but she intends to find out.

“(Tuesday), I spent all day trying to help voters. (Wednesday), I have refocused my energy on finding out the what and why of the county decisions that were made that led to severe polling delays.”

Reagan said she plans to host bipartisan public hearings in the areas most affected by the long wait times.

“What happened to Maricopa County voters was awful,” she said.

In addition to the hearings, Reagan said her office has created a ballot tracker and will “lead the charge” should lawmakers need to change or create new laws.

“Voters deserve so much better and government should be held accountable,” she said.

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