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Frustration with New York's closed primary and a record number of complaints about voting glitches yesterday raise questions about the health of our election system. Fair voting advocates are predicting even more cases of voters being shut out of the polls in November by strict new voter ID laws ­­ Guest host Barbara Bogaev looks at the myriad fears about access to the ballot.

Later on the program, President Obama lands in Saudi Arabia amid snubs, feuds and resurrected tensions over 9/11.

Photo: sean hobson

First Criminal Charges Announced for Flint Water Crisis 6 MIN, 9 SEC

Michigan's Attorney General announced criminal charges today against city and state officials for their alleged role in the lead contamination of Flint Michigan's water. The charges include misconduct, neglect of duty and tampering with evidence. Attorney General Bill Schuette emphasized, "They had a duty to protect the health of families and citizens... They failed in their responsibilities to protect the safety of families of Flint. They failed Michigan. I don't care where you live." Rick Pluta, State Capitol bureau chief for Michigan Public Radio, joins us from the press conference where charges were just announced.

Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio (@rickpluta)

Flint Water Advisory Task Force report (March, 2016)

Chaos and Disenfranchisement at the Polls 33 MIN, 8 SEC

In yesterday's primaries, party frontrunners won. Many voters lost. A record number of New Yorkers complained about delays and glitches, not to mention anger at closed primary rules. Four times as many calls about voting problems poured into the national voter hotline than did in 2012. Frustration is building from Arizona to Wisconsin, over long lines, budget cuts, incompetence and restrictions. Thirty-three states have strict new voter ID laws after a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down key parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Are voters already feeling the loss of the full protection of that landmark law of the civil rights movement?

Ari Berman, Mother Jones (@AriBerman)
Michael Waldman, New York University (@mawaldman)
Derek Muller, Pepperdine University (@derektmuller)
Samantha Pstross, Arizona Advocacy Network (@AZadvocacy)

Berman on 27% of NY's registered voters not being able to vote in state primary
Berman on black man with 3 forms of ID being denied the vote in Wisconsin
Pstross on move to urge state, local election officials to act after Arizona Election Crisis
Waldman on how the Supreme Court made a mess of our voting system

The Fight to Vote

Michael Waldman

Obama in Riyadh amid Increasing US-Saudi Tensions 10 MIN, 11 SEC

President Obama is in Saudi Arabia today at a tense moment in US­Saudi relations. The long-standing alliance is based on oil and security concerns, but now is being frayed by diverging goals in Middle East conflicts, by Obama's recent reference to the Saudis as "free riders" and renewed calls from Congress to allow Americans sue them for 9/11.

President Barack Obama is greeted by officials upon his arrival at King Khalid
International Airport for a summit meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 20, 2016.
Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

We hear more about the growing tensions from Ben Hubbard, Middle East correspondent for the New York Times, and Fred Wehrey, senior associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Ben Hubbard, New York Times (@NYTBen)
Frederic Wehrey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@FWehrey)

NYT on Saudi Arabia warning of economic fallout if Congress passes 9/11 bill

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