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Back Room Deals: Russell Pearce Rewrites SRP Voting System

Salt River Project's elected leaders are fighting over how the non-profit, municipal utility is run and how its leaders are elected using a system that weighs voters' ballots based on how much land they own. Some of the 46 elected leaders think the voting system needs to change to adapt with the times, and it has spurred an ugly dispute among them. SRP is not a business like the investor-owned Arizona Public Service Co. or Tucson Electric Power Co. SRP is a division of state government. Its president and vice president, who earn well more than the governor or mayor of any Arizona city, are elected by people who own land in SRP territory. Landowners get one vote for each acre they own. A person with 10 acres gets 10 votes, and a person who owns a quarter acre and shares the property with a spouse gets 1/8th of a vote.

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