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FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2013, file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Activists say Sheriff Joe Arpaio's plans for Election Day count as voter intimidation


Sheriff Joe Arpaio has stirred controversy for hard-line stances. His latest plans for Election Day may amount to voter intimidation, according to activists.

The Guardian reports Arpaio's plan will involve stationing deputies around polling places for "easy dispatch should there be any need for an officer." Also, poll workers were told to contact Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office for all non-life-threatening needs. 

Arpaio, 84, is up for re-election this year.

They consistently treat voters differently based on the color of their skin, so why would they do any differently on election day?
Samantha Pstross, ACEA

But that plan could cause problems, given Arpaio's history of ethnic profiling, said Samantha Pstross, president of the Arizona Commission for Election Accountability.

Arizona is one of nine states which will have significantly fewer election monitors after a 2013 court case, Shelby County v. Holder, gutted part of the Voting Rights Act. Activists fear this will allow for voter intimidation, especially among minorities. 

Arpaio has earned a reputation for hard-line stances on immigration, including raids on factories suspected employing illegal immigrants leading to mass detentions.

"He is hated and feared by the Latino community here," Pstross said.


The state has voted Republican since 1996, but Hillary Clinton has campaigned aggressively here in hopes of taking the state back. Normally, it's not considered a battleground state.

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