Article Image

Much Lower Arizona Voter Turnout Than Expected

Written by Subject: Voting and Elections
(Still Voting? - Now who can say I didn't  "win") 
(Behind the scenes, information is coming out. And Plans being made to educate more and more)
John, et al:
I am concerned about some of the things you told me about the way in which Maricopa is conducting their hand count.
(1)   The law (ARS 16-602 C.1) says
The county political party chairman for each political party that is entitled to continued representation on the state ballot or the chairman's designee shall conduct the selection of the precincts to be hand counted.
I think it is pretty clear that the Libertarian Party is entitled to participate.
(2)   The law (ARS 16-602 C.1) requires that precincts be selected from all the precincts in the county:
At least two per cent of the precincts in that county, or two precincts, whichever is greater, shall be selected at random from a pool consisting of every precinct in that county.
(3)   The law (ARS 16-602 C.2) then requires that races be selected from the precincts that were selected:
The races to be counted on the ballots from the precincts that were selected pursuant to paragraph 1 of this subsection for each primary and general election shall include up to five contested races.
The sequence is clear. The precincts must be selected first. Also, the SOS manual says to select precincts and then to select races by category: i.e., you select the Congressional race and then count whichever Congressional District appears in the particular precinct. Selecting races first and then limiting the precincts violates both the spirit and letter of the law, as well as the manual.
(4)   The law (16-602 C.1) says
The selection of the precincts shall not begin until all ballots voted in the precinct polling places have been delivered to the central counting center. The unofficial vote totals from all precincts shall be made public before selecting the precincts to be hand counted.
The Maricopa Election Director’s willful violation of the law after having had the specifics of the law pointed out to her, and the party chairs’ participation in that crime after the same warning, makes all of them guilty of a class six felony:
16-1010. Refusal by election officer to perform duty; violation of election law; classification A person charged with performance of any duty under any law relating to elections who knowingly refuses to perform such duty, or who, in his official capacity, knowingly acts in violation of any provision of such law, is guilty of a class 6 felony unless a different punishment for such act or omission is prescribed by law.
I apologize for the delay in sending you these comments and references to the law. Just after we spoke on the phone, my Internet connection went down and just now came back up.
From: John
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 3:16 PM
To: ??????
Subject: 15 out of 100 voters that went to Vote Tuesday had to vote a provisional ballot in Maricopa County.
Bill, Michael, Jim, Ed, Dan, Carol.
If the number are correct from the article below 15 out of 100 voters that went to Vote Tuesday had to vote a
provisional ballot in Maricopa County.
John Brakey
Maricopa Provisional is outrageous amount. 100,000
Numbers From report dated Nov 5, 2008 12:41 AM
Total Active Voters / Turn out Election Night %
total precinct voting
Vote by mail
Mailed out Early ballots mailed
Presidentail 90% should come back in VBM.
Already counted “Early Ballots” as Nov 5 2008
Brakey estimate what should come VBM
County estimates VBM 130,000
10 missing precincts
Estimate of provisional to be approved
Still to be checked and counted maybe more
total precinct voting
15 out ever 100 people had to vote a provisional ballot
Brakey Project Totals
Total Active Voters Project final Numbers by Nov 20th
Vote By Mail VBM
Estimated total voters
More than 230,000 ballots remain to be counted, but voter turnout in Tuesday's election fell short of the record participation that had been anticipated in Arizona.
As of Wednesday evening, the Secretary of State's Office reported that 64 percent of the state's roughly 3 million registered voters cast ballots in this presidential election. That figure mirrored voter participation in Maricopa County, where 63.7 percent of 1.7 million voters turned out at the polls.
Those numbers are expected to creep up in the coming days as election officials process more than 200,000 provisional ballots and early ballots that arrived on Election Day.
But statewide turnout in this year's presidential contest - featuring Arizona favorite son John McCain and Barack Obama, the first Black nominee of a major political party - won't top the 80 percent turnout seen in 1980, when Ronald Reagan unseated incumbent Jimmy Carter.
In fact, it probably won't even best the participation seen in the previous presidential race in 2004, when George W. Bush defeated John Kerry.
Turnout that year was 77 percent.
State and county election officials had projected turnout to climb as high as 80 to 85 percent on Tuesday because of the historic nature of the presidential race. But as a percentage, voter turnout appeared to be down from 2004 in all counties except Santa Cruz and Navajo.
Election officials in Maricopa County, the state's largest by population, said they still need to process about 230,000 ballots, with tabulation beginning today.
Roughly 118,000 early ballots arrived by mail or were dropped off at polling sites on Election Day; 12,000 came in earlier but also need to be counted.
Meanwhile, 100,000 provisional ballots - those given to voters who don't show up on precinct voter rolls or fail to produce proper identification - still need to be verified.
Yavapai County officials said they were tabulating about 7,000 early ballots and 3,500 provisional ballots. But outstanding ballots from the state's 13 other counties were not immediately known.
Early and provisional ballots could mean the difference in state and local races that are too close to call. Democrat Sam George and Republican Bob Stump are still battling for the third open seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, while Jim Lane was leading longtime incumbent Mary Manross by 592 votes for the Scottsdale mayor's seat.
Proposition 101, the statewide initiative on a health-care system, was failing by just 2,288 votes.
Nearly 3 million Arizonans were registered for Tuesday's election, up 400,000 from 2004. But by the time all ballots are counted, the number of voters who participated in this year's election could rival the 2.1 million who cast votes four years ago.
"It really depends on your point of view," said Deputy Secretary of State Kevin Tyne. "Some would say, 'We are right on the edge of setting a record for the number of Arizonans turning out to vote.' Others would say 'Oh, but there's a lower turnout percentage.' "
Wes Gullett, co-chair of McCain's Arizona presidential campaign, said turnout may have been down this year because neither McCain nor Obama engaged in expensive get-out-the-vote efforts in Arizona.
But he added that Republicans here benefited from the "McCain effect," bucking the Democratic tide that swept through the country. While the Arizona GOP lost one congressional seat, it appeared to make gains in the Legislature and other offices.
"Arizona was in a unique spot in terms of the election," he said.
"If John McCain had not been at the top of the ticket, it would have been a worse day for Republicans in Arizona. I do think there was a McCain effect in Arizona that was very positive."

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: