Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Reacts To Debate, Upcoming Presidential Preference Election Changes

Published: Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 3:11pm
Arizona Democratic Party
Felecia Rotellini

Sunday's Democratic debate, which was originally scheduled to be hosted in downtown Phoenix, was moved to a studio in Washington, D.C., over coronavirus concerns.

The chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Party, Felicia Rotellini, says the development marks a lost opportunity.

"There was going to be some rallies with Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, that would’ve rallied up our base, and also a lot of folks who have never been engaged in politics before," Rotellini said.

Many of the questions submitted for the debate focused on issues relevant to Arizona and the western United States — and Rotellini isn’t sure if those questions will still be asked at the new debate site.

Concerns over the coronavirus have also led to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors recommending the closure of several polling places ahead of Tuesday’s presidential preference election.

Rotellini says she believes the reductions won’t have a major impact on voters, and that those who want to cast a ballot will still be able to.

"We know that there are still going to be many many more polling locations than there were in 2016, and early numbers show us that people are much more engaged, and turnout will be better than in 2016," she said.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes considered sending mail-in ballots to all registered Democrats in the county, but his plan was quickly challenged by Attorney General Mark Brnovich and struck down by a judge.

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