[ {"id":"25b01228-59e5-5814-8e9e-5edda291a423","type":"article","starttime":"1477875600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-10-30T18:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1478732839","priority":41,"sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/government-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Backers of higher Arizona minimum wage use extra cash to target candidates","url":"http://tucson.com/news/government-and-politics/article_25b01228-59e5-5814-8e9e-5edda291a423.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/government-and-politics/backers-of-higher-arizona-minimum-wage-use-extra-cash-to/article_25b01228-59e5-5814-8e9e-5edda291a423.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/government-and-politics/backers-of-higher-arizona-minimum-wage-use-extra-cash-to/article_25b01228-59e5-5814-8e9e-5edda291a423.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Advocates seek to defeat political foes of Proposition 206.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["candidate","bill scheel","state","lawmaker","taylor","ballot","incumbent","election 2016","arizona","minimum wage"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#elections","#top5"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6","description":"In this May 2016 file photo, Stephanie Vasquez, owner of Fair Trade Coffee in Phoenix, says part of a $12 minimum wage is treating people \u201cwith respect and dignity.\u201d","byline":"Howard Fischer / Capitol Media Services","hireswidth":1368,"hiresheight":923,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6/5814d16995141.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1126","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6/5814d16993217.image.jpg?resize=1126%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6/5814d16993217.image.jpg?crop=1368%2C769%2C0%2C39&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6/5814d16993217.image.jpg?crop=1368%2C769%2C0%2C39&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/c0/ec0ef2ab-62f0-5bf7-a539-fb4334ccf9d6/5814d16993217.image.jpg?crop=1368%2C769%2C0%2C39&resize=1024%2C576&order=crop%2Cresize"}}}],"revision":20,"commentID":"25b01228-59e5-5814-8e9e-5edda291a423","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Leading in the polls and with lots of money to spend, the group pushing to increase the minimum wage has now turned its sights to defeating political foes.

Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families has put more than $62,000 into efforts to affect a handful of legislative races, financial disclosure reports show.

The mailers target Republican incumbents and candidates who Bill Scheel, campaign manager for Proposition 206, said are the kind of lawmakers who would vote to undermine the minimum-wage initiative if it passes.

Scheel said these particular races were chosen because they are competitive and represent opportunities for Democrats to add some seats to the House and Senate.

The move is being criticized by Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, a foe of the minimum-wage hike. She contends it is illegal for a committee that was organized to raise money to persuade voters to approve a ballot measure to now use some of those dollars to affect candidate races.

Lesko, in her complaint to the secretary of state, does not contend the people who donated to Proposition 206 are forbidden from influencing individual races. But she said they have to form a separate committee, with separate reports.

Garrick Taylor of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has found itself being outmaneuvered \u2014 and outspent \u2014 by initiative proponents, has his own take on the issue. He argues that the groups that are supporting Proposition 206, particularly national unions, have an alternate agenda.

\u201cIt\u2019s now become apparent that Proposition 206 is just one element of a bigger play by labor in Arizona to make this state more hostile to job creators,\u201d Taylor said.

Scheel, however, said the expenditures to oust GOP incumbents and prevent others from getting elected is all part of the same campaign.

He pointed out that Republicans were involved in efforts to undermine the original 2006 initiative that first established a state minimum wage. That includes a 2013 law that sought to preclude cities, towns and counties from adopting their own minimum wages higher than what the state mandates.

It took Attorney General Mark Brnovich to rule that legislation was illegal because the 2006 law specifically permits that local option. And, having been approved by voters, lawmakers were powerless to alter it.

\u201cWe think it\u2019s important that voters know which legislative candidates are supportive of Prop. 206 and which legislators are likely to attempt to undermine the will of the voters and undercut Prop. 206 after it\u2019s enacted,\u201d Scheel said.

The original 2006 initiative established a state minimum wage of $6.75 an hour at a time when employers in Arizona were subject only to the federal minimum of $5.15. The ballot measure also requires annual inflation adjustments that have pushed the state figure up to $8.05; it will go to $8.15 automatically on Jan. 1.

Proposition 206 proposes to boost the minimum wage to $10 an hour in January, rising to $12 by 2020. It also includes a requirement for a certain number of days of paid personal leave.

The most recent financial disclosure statements show the pro-206 effort has collected more than $3 million. While some of that was spent gathering signatures, Scheel said there has been enough to have TV commercials running for three weeks already on both English and Spanish-speaking media along with radio commercials and direct mailers.

Major contributors include Living United for Change in Arizona, which put up close to $1 million, $500,000 from CPD Action, a national group that is involved in living wage issues, and $350,000 each from the Citizen Participation Action Fund and the National Education Association.

By contrast, the anti-206 effort is virtually nonexistent, with the state chamber putting in less than $26,000.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Claiming disenfranchisement of a \u201csubstantial\u201d number of voters, the Arizona Democratic Party wants U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan to order election officials to reopen the registration rolls.

Attorneys for the party contend Secretary of State Michele Reagan acted illegally in refusing to direct county election officials to extend the deadline through Oct. 11.

The actual deadline set by statute is 29 days before the Nov. 8 election. That fell on Oct. 10.

That day, however, was both a state and federal holiday.

While offices in 14 of the state\u2019s 15 counties were open anyway, the party\u2019s lawyers point out that other last-minute registration options were not available. That includes going to an office of the state Motor Vehicle Division or dropping a registration form into a post office box and getting it postmarked by that Oct. 10 deadline.

Reagan, the state\u2019s chief elections officer, refused to direct counties to allow an extra day. And Assistant Attorney General Dominic Draye rebuffed a request by House Minority Leaders Eric Meyer that his office order Reagan to change her mind.

In his letter to Meyer, Draye conceded there is a state law that says when certain deadlines fall on a holiday it can be moved to the next day. But Draye also cited a 1968 Arizona Supreme Court ruling which says that election statutes have to be interpreted literally \u201ceven where a strict interpretation led to a Sunday deadline for ballot delivery.\u201d

Draye said that \u201clack of clarity in the law leaves room for the exercise of discretion on the part of the secretary of state,\u201d a discretion he said his office \u201cwill support and defend.\u201d

He will now get that chance: Logan has scheduled a hearing for later today on the issue.

Sambo Dul, an attorney for the party, cited an opinion issued in 1958 by Robert Morrison, then the state attorney general, which specifically addressed the question of what happens when the voter registration deadline falls on a holiday.

\u201cThe registration of electors is not a work of necessity or charity but rather the performance of an act of a secular nature, which may be performed on the next ensuing business day with effect as though performed on the appointed day,\u201d Morrison wrote.

But Morrison also said that if a county office is open on the deadline day, then the deadline remains; if it is closed, then the deadline moves to the next business day.

Only Mohave County shut its doors on that day, with election officials there agreeing to accept registrations through Oct. 11. The other 14 counties remained open despite the state holiday, having traded the day off for the Friday after Thanksgiving.

But Spencer Scharff, the party\u2019s Voter Protection Director, said other problems remain with that Oct. 10 deadline.

Scharff said the National Voter Registration Act forbids deadlines greater than 30 days before an election. He said that with MVD and post offices closed both Sunday and Monday, that effectively made the deadline Saturday, Oct. 8 \u2014 or maybe even Friday, Oct. 7 \u2014 clearly putting the state out of compliance.

There also are claims the Oct. 10 deadline imposed by Reagan violates federal constitutional provisions.

The lawsuit essentially asks Logan to require counties to accept the registrations of those who submitted them on Oct. 11, whether in person, by mail or any other method. Scharff said the Arizona Democratic Party, which is empowered to accept registration, had several submitted that day which it turned over to the proper county officials only to be rejected.

He said it is irrelevant that only a handful of individuals might have been disqualified.

\u201cOne would be one too many,\u201d he said.

Reagan spokesman Matt Roberts, who has previously defended the strict reading of the deadline, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Arizonans want their next president to fix the economy and improve K-12 education.

But the call by Donald Trump to build a wall apparently leaves them cold.

A survey of 700 adult heads of household conducted earlier this month by the Behavior Research Center found the top-tier priorities were \u201cfairly uniform across most demographic groups,\u201d said pollster Earl de Berge. That suggests, he said, that voters want meaningful answers from the candidates versus what they have heard to date.

\u201cOne of the frustrations that voters have today is the national debate is really focused on personality issues, one side calling the other a liar and the other side inept and not fit for office,\u201d de Berge said. \u201cVoters want to know where these candidates are on issues.\u201d

His staffers came up with a list of 23 priorities and asked respondents to rank their importance to them on a scale of zero to 10. The questions were rotated to prevent the results from being skewed based on the order the issues were suggested.

On that scale, de Berge found improving the economy rated 9.0, followed by improving K-12 education and protecting the U.S. from terrorism at 8.8.

But other top tier issues \u2014 those rating 8.0 or higher \u2014 include reducing the national debt, providing more funding for \u201cwounded warriors,\u201d assuring safety in food sold to U.S. consumers, and providing health care to the poor.

At the other extreme, the idea of building and staffing a wall along the nation\u2019s southern border rated just 4.7 on that zero-to-10 scale. Even Republicans rated it no higher than 7.3 despite the fact it has been a priority of the GOP presidential contender.

The rallying cry of \u201cbuild the danged fence\u201d was a centerpiece of Sen. John McCain\u2019s 2010 reelection campaign. This year, however, McCain has said little about the project.

The survey also found relatively low interest in allowing companies more freedom to drill for oil and gas, weighing in at 5.2. And the idea of deporting all Muslims who the U.S. government believes may be terrorists was rated at 5.7.

While the economy, K-12 education and terrorism were important across the political spectrum, de Berge said he found that Republicans had a much narrower scope of top priorities: Only dealing with the national debt, funding for wounded returning vets and strengthening the military ranked 8.0 or higher.

Democrats didn\u2019t see a stronger military as a top concern. But they did get top priority to the issues of more affordable university education, food safety, repairing roads and highways, and raising income taxes on the wealthy.

And independents? They\u2019re much more diverse in their priorities than adherents of either party.

While they don\u2019t prioritize higher taxes on the wealthy, their 8.0-plus list of issues does include lowering middle class taxes, protecting and funding the national park system, and prosecuting computer hackers.

\u201cIndependents are people who\u2019ve moved away from both political parties perhaps because they have a broader scope of interests on a variety of topics\u201d than those who have labeled themselves Democrats or Republicans, de Berge said. But he also said it may be a question of demographics.

\u201cThey tend to be younger and more interested in those kinds of issues,\u201d he said.

The survey has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Hey, Arizona voter: Feeling powerful?

You should.

The financial advice website WalletHub did some computations.

Its experts considered how close the race was in each state.

Then they looked at the number of electoral votes.

And, finally, they divided the tally by the number of adults, representing eligible voters. Fewer voters translates into each vote that is cast being worth more.

What they found put Arizona at the top of the heap.

Only Iowa and Alaska, other states where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump also are competitive, came close.

Whether it\u2019s the survey or something else, the Clinton campaign clearly is paying attention. And it smells victory in this traditionally red state.

Bernie Sanders is set to stump for his former primary foe in Tucson and Flagstaff today.

Chelsea Clinton is in Tempe Wednesday to make the case for her mother to students at Arizona State University.

And Michelle Obama, potentially the most powerful Clinton surrogate, just scheduled an Arizona trip for Thursday.

That\u2019s not all.

With early voting now underway, the Clinton campaign just announced it will put another $2 million into advertising that would benefit not just the presidential nominee but could help Democrats further down the ticket.

\u201cThis is a state that would really foreclose a way for Donald Trump to win the White House,\u201d Robby Mook, Clinton\u2019s campaign manager, said in a conference call Monday with reporters.

Those efforts, along with another possible visit from Clinton herself, could provide the bump needed.

Pollster Earl de Berge of the Behavior Research Center said it\u2019s not so much that visits by the candidates or their stand-ins are going to change a lot of minds. Instead, it\u2019s a recognition that the key to winning Arizona is getting out the vote.

One issue of note here, he said, is whether Hispanics will finally vote in closer proportion to the population.

Various groups have moved to get Hispanics registered over the years. And that effort may have been bolstered by Trump\u2019s comments about Mexicans as rapists and criminals as well as his focus on building a wall along the nation\u2019s southern border.

But history has shown that does not always translate to actual votes, not just in Arizona but elsewhere.

The Pew Research Center noted that four years ago there were 23.3 million eligible Hispanic voters in the country. The number who actually cast ballots, however, was less than half of that.

And a separate report by Latino Decisions found that in 2012 just 40 percent of eligible Hispanics actually voted, compared with 62 percent of Anglos.

\u201cTheir registration and participation is very important to what happens here in Arizona because they are now a much more significant portion of the overall electorate,\u201d de Berge said. Pew estimates Hispanics make up 22 percent of Arizona\u2019s current eligible voters.

WalletHub starts with the chances a state is in play using numbers from FiveThiryEight, which looks at polling from across the nation. A state that is 50-50 Clinton-Trump would rate 100 points; a state that is clearly going one way or the other is zero. Arizona rates 98.

That is multiplied by the number of electors in the state. Arizona has 11.

And then, to determine how much the weight of each voter counts, WalletHub divides that by the total population 18 and older.

Mix that all up, move the decimal point right by six places, and you end up with a \u201cvoter power score\u201d of 207.05.

Polls in Iowa also show a close race, as do those from Alaska. But Iowa has just seven electoral votes; Alaska has three.

So who\u2019s at the bottom? California, with 55 electoral votes, lots of residents who can go to the polls \u2014 and with virtually no chance Trump will take the state. It scored 0.37, followed by predictably Democratic Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York and Massachusetts.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Terrified about Donald Trump?

Hillary Clinton leave you in a cold sweat?

And can\u2019t bring yourself to back either Libertarian Gary Johnson or Jill Stein of the Green Party?

You do have some other choices in Arizona \u2014 in the form of write-ins.

No, not South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham as our own state\u2019s senior senator, John McCain, suggested this past week he may vote for rather than his party\u2019s nominee. Nor Mike Pence, officially Trump\u2019s running mate, who is being mentioned by some Republicans as a better alternative to the party\u2019s official pick.

That\u2019s because Arizona law says only the write-in votes of only those who have previously registered and submitted a slate of electors are actually tallied.

Neither Graham nor Pence has done that. So writing in one of their names would be the equivalent of writing in \u201cMickey Mouse.\u201d

But 16 presidential wannabes did, in fact, meet the write-in deadline. And if history is any indication, they\u2019ll get some votes \u2013 though not many.

Consider: Four years ago Virgil Goode tallied 289 votes in his bid to oust Barack Obama. The six-term congressman from Virginia is not on the ballot this time, choosing to back Trump.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was the choice of another 119 Arizona voters.

Add in Jill Reid, Sheila Tittle, Will Christensen even Sedona resident Dennis Knill and you\u2019ll find the votes of another 44 Arizonans.

Now, to be sure, all of this was barely a blip on the political radar screen. And it clearly did not affect the outcome of the race, with Republican Mitt Romney getting the state\u2019s 11 electoral votes by beating Democrat incumbent Obama by 1,233,654 to 1,025,232.

But the small number of votes isn\u2019t keeping others from hoping that there\u2019s a path to the presidency through write-in status.

One contender who has actually gathered national attention is Evan McMullin.

A former CIA employee, the Utah native was a senior adviser to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and later became chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.

While he\u2019s just a write-in in Arizona and more than two dozen other states, he has made the ballot in 11 states including Utah. And, according to a poll conducted there this past week, McMullin is the choice of 22 percent of voters in that state; Clinton and Trump are tied at 26 percent each.

There are some other names on the official write-in list that might be familiar to Arizonans.

One Rocky De La Fuente, who ran earlier this in the state\u2019s Democratic presidential preference primary \u2014 and picked up 2,797 votes against Clinton\u2019s 262,459 and 192,962 for Bernie Sanders. He is now trying to get to the White House through the write-in process.

Sheila Tittle is back again, undeterred by the fact she picked up only six votes in Arizona in 2012, four of them from Pima County.

And for voters who want \u201clocally sourced\u201d candidates, there are even two Arizonans on this year\u2019s list: Mitchell In-Albon who lists a Phoenix post office box, and Michael Corsetti of Fort Mohave.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Foes of legalized marijuana are amassing a huge amount of cash in a last-minute bid to quash the measure.

The latest figures show Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy has so far collected more than $2.7 million. More than $900,000 of that has come in the past three weeks, as different polls have shown the fate of Proposition 205 could swing either way.

Whether any of that is having an effect remains to be seen.

The most recent survey, released Monday, shows 43 percent of those questioned in support and 47 percent opposed.

That could leave the outcome up to the 10 percent who told OH Predictive Insights they are undecided.

But the same pollster, using the same methodology, found Proposition 205 trailing by a larger margin of 40 to 51 percent just a month earlier.

Now comes the big fiscal push.

Less than a week ago, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry poured $498,000 into the anti-205 measure. That is more than four times as much as the business group had provided since the campaign started.

There\u2019s also a new $115,000 donation from Virginia-based SAM Action, short for Smart Approach to Marijuana, a group that has opposed legalization efforts in many other states.

The pro-205 effort benefited from a $110,000 donation two weeks ago from Dr. Bronner\u2019s Magic Soaps.

That company makes cleaning products, including those that use hemp oil. But various restrictions on growing hemp \u2014 essentially a version of marijuana without the psychoactive ingredients \u2014 have forced the company to look elsewhere for its supplies.

According to the firm, it donated $100,000 to voter initiatives in Colorado and Washington state to legalize the growing of marijuana there. Arizona\u2019s proposal is modeled largely after what voters approved in Colorado.

OH Insights also said its survey of the same 718 likely voters, done with both live callers and automated responses, showed 53 percent in support of another proposition, 206, with 40 percent opposed.

That proposal would hike the state\u2019s minimum wage, currently $8.05 an hour, to $12 an hour by 2020.

The measure also would require employers to provide workers with at least three days of sick or personal leave.

That same question, asked in August, showed the measure with a 52-38 edge.

The most recent poll was conducted during the last three days of September and has a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.

How much might have changed since then remains unclear.

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PHOENIX \u2014 A watchdog group has been told it can\u2019t examine state Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump\u2019s text messages because they were deleted and the phone used to send and receive them was destroyed.

The texts in question are believed to be between Stump and political candidates and the head of a \u201cdark money group.\u201d

David Cantelme, an attorney hired by the Arizona Corporation Commission, told the group that the agency can\u2019t comply because the records \u201cdo not exist\u201d \u2014 at least not any more. He said Stump \u201croutinely deleted\u201d messages of state business from his commission-issued phone \u201conce their administrative or reference value ended.\u201d

Attorney Daniel Barr, who represents the Checks and Balances Project, which wants to review the messages, said that practice \u201cshows a clear disrespect and disregard for the Public Records Law.\u201d

But Barr said what Stump did \u2014 or thought he did \u2014 doesn\u2019t matter, saying technology is available to retrieve deleted information.

Cantelme, however, said the phone Stump was using at the time \u2014 up to the 2014 election \u2014 is not available, because the commissioner has since opted for a more modern iPhone5.

\u201cHis iPhone3 had deteriorated and become damaged and disabled, and he disposed of it as unusable after he began using the iPhone5,\u201d Cantelme wrote to Barr. \u201cThus the iPhone3, first issued to Commissioner Stump in 2010, no longer exists.\u201d

Barr, however, said there\u2019s still a way to retrieve the information. And on Friday he told the commission to give him access to Stump\u2019s iPhone 5 by this coming Friday or face a lawsuit.

\u201cThe commission can get these messages,\u201d Scott Peterson, executive director of the Checks and Balances Project, said in a prepared statement. \u201cThey just don\u2019t want anyone to see them.\u201d

Jodi Jerich, the commission\u2019s executive director, said late Friday she had just seen Barr\u2019s demand and will give it \u201cdue consideration.\u201d

Stump did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Peterson said he wants the texts to determine if there was any improper activity by Stump to steer \u201cdark money\u201d into last year\u2019s Corporation Commission race.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club spent more than $154,000 each to get Republicans Tom Forese and Doug Little nominated over GOP foes who supported solar energy. That dwarfed the amount each got in public financing for the primary.

Arizona law allows outside groups to help elect candidates. And because the Free Enterprise Club is incorporated as a \u201csocial welfare\u201d organization, it need not disclose its donors.

But in any case, Arizona law says any effort to influence an election has to be done independent of any candidate.

The commission did surrender text logs it got from Verizon Wireless showing Sump exchanged 100 texts with Scot Mussi, the group\u2019s executive director, over the course of a year, with 46 of those in a one-month period prior to the primary. There also were 160 messages exchanged with the phone registered to Little and his wife, and another 18 with Forese.

Separately, there were 54 with Barbara Lockwood, an executive at Arizona Public Service. APS has not denied that it spent money to influence the outcome of last year\u2019s races for who sits on the board that regulates all investor-owned utilities.

In a letter to Cantelme, Barr said the fact that Stump threw out his first state-issued phone does not end his quest. He said Stump, in transferring contacts from one phone to the next, also moved any \u201cmetadata,\u201d including texts Stump believes he deleted.

\u201cThere are two ways to destroy digital information: a sledgehammer and a blowtorch,\u201d Barr said. Anything sort of that, he said, leaves the data out there.

Then there\u2019s the underlying question of whether Stump acted improperly in destroying, or trying to destroy, the messages in the first place.

Barr said Arizona law requires officials and agencies to maintain all records \u201creasonably necessary or appropriate to maintain an accurate knowledge of their official activities and of any of their activities which are supported by monies from this state.\u201d

Her said the fact that Stump used text messaging \u201cdoes not absolve him of his legal duty to preserve, maintain and care for those records.\u201d

\u201cAll of Commissioner Stump\u2019s text messages with representatives of entities regulated by the commission are presumptively public records,\u201d Barr wrote to Cantemle.

\u201cThe same would be true of his text exchanges with Scot Mussi ... and then-corporation commission candidates Tom Forese and Doug Little during the summer and fall of 2014.\u201d

Cantelme, however, said the state\u2019s own records-retention policy requires things like correspondence and other records to be kept \u201conly until their administrative or reference value has been served.\u201d The same rule, he said, applies to \u201ctransitory materials.\u201d

\u201cGiven the nature of a text message, which ordinarily is a short or abbreviated communication, it is unlikely that one sent to a commissioner would qualify as anything other than general correspondence or transitory materials,\u201d Cantelme said.

\u201cAt any rate, their \u2018administrative or reference value\u2019 certainly went away months ago,\u201d he continued. \u201cThat being the case, Commissioner Stump properly deleted such text messages.\u201d

The battle over texts is part of a larger dispute between the solar industry and traditional utilities.

Arizona came under scrutiny from the Checks and Balances Project after regulators approved requests by utilities to impose new fees on customers who get some of their power from rooftop solar units. Stump, then chairman of the commission, voted for fees in 2013; the Republicans running against Little and Forese last year were opposed.

Barr said the log of texts between Stump and others during the primary campaign raises questions about whether there was illegal coordination.

\u201cThe reason we want to get those texts is to try to answer those questions,\u201d he said.

The 2014 election did not end the issue of fees: APS now wants the commission, now including the two new Republicans, to boost the amount it can charge solar customers.

"}, {"id":"7f293785-eba3-58de-b4f9-6bfa56b9255c","type":"article","starttime":"1432695240","starttime_iso8601":"2015-05-26T19:54:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1449111571","priority":30,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Kirkpatrick hopes to take on McCain next year","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_7f293785-eba3-58de-b4f9-6bfa56b9255c.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/kirkpatrick-hopes-to-take-on-mccain-next-year/article_7f293785-eba3-58de-b4f9-6bfa56b9255c.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/kirkpatrick-hopes-to-take-on-mccain-next-year/article_7f293785-eba3-58de-b4f9-6bfa56b9255c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick will give up her seat to run against Republican Sen. John McCain nest year.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["ann kirkpatrick","john mccain","u.s. senate","election 2016"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"576de235-98cd-5b29-9d59-a024546d7638","description":"Ann Kirkpatrick","byline":"Submitted Photo JENNIFER JOHNSON","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"200","height":"299","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/576de235-98cd-5b29-9d59-a024546d7638/5442fe0717d46.image.jpg?resize=200%2C299"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"149","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/576de235-98cd-5b29-9d59-a024546d7638/5442fe071e135.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"448","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/576de235-98cd-5b29-9d59-a024546d7638/5442fe071eae1.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1531","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/76/576de235-98cd-5b29-9d59-a024546d7638/5442fe0717d46.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"7f293785-eba3-58de-b4f9-6bfa56b9255c","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 A three-term U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick from Flagstaff hopes to do what Arizona Democrats have been unable for do since 1982: Sideline John McCain.

In announcing her bid Tuesday for the Senate, Kirkpatrick hammered on her local rural roots as a lifelong Arizona resident. Her video included pictures of her with her family and small business.

But it\u2019s the boots she bought with her waitressing tips that are likely to take center stage in the race. Those same boots became a symbol in her last campaign, as Republicans sought to portray her as some sort of high-heeled Washington liberal.

Kirkpatrick, 65, was careful not to blast the 78-year-old McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, who was first elected to the House in 1982 and to the U.S. Senate four years later. Instead, she said, it\u2019s about giving voters what she thinks they want now.

\u201cThe state\u2019s changing,\u201d she said. \u201cI hear from Arizona voters who are ready for a choice in the next election.\u201d

The chore now for Kirkpatrick is to translate her narrow win in 2014 against Republican Andy Tobin in her rural district into statewide support.

Democrats hold a slight edge in her congressional district, making up close to 37 percent of the electorate, compared with less than 30 percent for Republicans. Independents and minor parties make up the balance.

By contrast, Democrats are only 28.5 percent of statewide registered voters, with Republicans at 34.2 percent.

But Kirkpatrick pointed out her current district already includes all or part of eight of the state\u2019s 15 counties. Her toughest test could be in Republican-rich Maricopa County.

And then there\u2019s the money angle.

At last count, McCain had more than $3.6 million cash on hand, versus less than $300,000 in Kirkpatrick\u2019s House re-election account. And as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain has a fundraising edge.

Kirkpatrick conceded McCain will have the money advantage, not only from his own account but the likelihood of outside groups waging their own independent efforts for him or against her.

But Kirkpatrick said she hopes to make up for any financial shortfall with retail politicking, going to every event she can.

McCain also has something else that Kirkpatrick may not: a likely primary on his hands.

State Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, has been drumming up support in an exploratory committee. She has strong backing from fiscally conservative elements in the GOP.

Matt Salmon and David Schweikert, members of the state\u2019s congressional delegation, also have been mentioned as possible primary foes.

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham said he\u2019s always worried about a divisive primary.

\u201cIf our candidates are beating the lights out of each other in a primary and they\u2019re using language or a narrative that is not good, as to painting a person into a corner or what have you, when they go into a general election any of that baggage is harmful,\u201d he said. \u201cThere\u2019s no question about that.\u201d

And at this early date, there is no guarantee Kirkpatrick will get a free pass in the primary election.

Democrat Fred DuVal, who lost last year\u2019s gubernatorial race to Republican Doug Ducey, has been mentioned as someone who could go up against McCain. Also possibly in the running could be Kyrsten Sinema who will be finishing her second term in the U.S. House, and Richard Carmona who lost his Senate race in 2012 to Jeff Flake.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Gov. Doug Ducey is not ready to put any distance between himself and Joe Arpaio.

\u201cLet\u2019s see how the court hearings play out,\u201d the governor said in response to a question of whether he still supports the sheriff.

The comments came at the end of a week of testimony by the sheriff and some of his top deputies at a federal court hearing to determine if Arpaio should be found in contempt of court, including a bombshell admission by Arpaio that his attorney hired a private detective to investigate the wife of the judge hearing the case.

Arpaio and his top aides have admitted they did not carry out the judge\u2019s orders in a racial-profiling case, essentially leaving Judge Murray Snow with only one question: whether there will be a financial penalty against the sheriff, and whether he will have to pay it out of his own pocket.

But there also is the possibility of criminal contempt charges.

Testimony resumes next month.

\u201cLet\u2019s see what the verdict is,\u201d said the governor, who was endorsed in his 2014 Republican primary campaign by the sheriff. \u201cI\u2019m watching this with the same interest you are.\u201d

Ducey showed no regret about accepting the sheriff\u2019s endorsement, saying Arpaio deserves some praise. Still, the governor is keeping open his option to change his mind.

\u201cLet\u2019s see how the court hearings play out and then I\u2019ll have further comment,\u201d he said.

"}, {"id":"315c23cf-0709-5abe-bb0b-ecbbe034a524","type":"article","starttime":"1429728300","starttime_iso8601":"2015-04-22T11:45:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1456273386","priority":30,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Court upholds campaign finance reporting requirement","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_315c23cf-0709-5abe-bb0b-ecbbe034a524.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/court-upholds-campaign-finance-reporting-requirement/article_315c23cf-0709-5abe-bb0b-ecbbe034a524.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/court-upholds-campaign-finance-reporting-requirement/article_315c23cf-0709-5abe-bb0b-ecbbe034a524.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"PHOENIX \u2014 Groups attacking politicians can\u2019t hide their funding sources simply by claiming they\u2019re \u201ceducating\u201d voters on issues, the Arizona Supreme Court concluded Tuesday. Without comment, the justices upheld an appellate court ruling that \u201cdark money\u201d groups can be forced to disclose who is financing the effort.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["election","campaign finance","tom horne"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":11,"commentID":"315c23cf-0709-5abe-bb0b-ecbbe034a524","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Groups attacking politicians can\u2019t hide their funding sources simply by claiming they\u2019re \u201ceducating\u201d voters on issues, the Arizona Supreme Court concluded Tuesday.

Without comment, the justices upheld an appellate court ruling that \u201cdark money\u201d groups can be forced to disclose who is financing the effort.

In doing so, the justices rejected arguments by the Committee for Justice and Fairness that its last-minute commercial attacking Tom Horne before the 2010 election was not designed to affect the election.

Tuesday\u2019s ruling has implications far beyond that campaign, and should impact the increasing use of TV ads and mailers attacking candidates.

Lawyers for these groups have said they are free to hide their donors\u2019 identities because they are simply \u201ceducating\u201d voters about the issues and candidates, and aren\u2019t advocating for anyone\u2019s election or defeat.

But the appellate court said \u2014 and the Supreme Court agreed \u2014 any commercial or mailer must be examined in its entirety, including its timing, to determine its real purpose.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who pursued the case against the committee, said Tuesday\u2019s ruling is a significant victory for voters. He pointed out the commercial in question never explained the source of its funding was a group backing Felecia Rotellini, Horne\u2019s Democrat foe.

\u201cIt\u2019s important for voters to be able to look up the information ... so that the voter then can weigh whether or not, and to what degree, they should give it any legitimacy or factor it into their decision on how to vote for or against any candidate or on a given issue,\u201d Montgomery said.

Tom Irvine, who represents the committee that challenged the law, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The commercial ran in October 2010 as Horne, then the state schools chief, was seeking election as attorney general.

It said when Horne was a legislator he \u201cvoted against tougher penalties for statutory rape,\u201d and that as state schools chief and a member of the Arizona Board of Education he voted to allow a teacher who had been caught \u201clooking at child pornography on a school computer\u201d to return to the classroom

It then urged viewers to \u201ctell Superintendent Horne to protect children, not people who harm them,\u201d and included a photo of Horne and his phone number at the Department of Education.

After the election, which Horne won, it turned out that the $1.5 million expenditure came from the Democratic Attorneys General Association, which backed Rotellini.

Maricopa County sought to force the committee to comply with campaign finance laws.

While Irvine convinced a trial judge the ad was exempt because it was \u201cissue-oriented speech\u201d and not \u201cexpress advocacy,\u201d the appellate court disagreed.

Justice Lawrence Winthrop, writing the ruling the Supreme Court eventually upheld, acknowledged the ad did not use any of the \u201cmagic words\u201d that state law says indicate express advocacy \u2014 such as \u201cvote for,\u201d \u201celect,\u201d \u201csupport\u201d or \u201cendorse.\u201d But he said it clearly was meant to influence voters, pointing out that it used Horne\u2019s name, photo and record of current and prior offices.

That, combined with the ad\u2019s timing, the judge said, indicates, \u201cthe only reasonable purpose for running such an advertisement immediately before the election was to advocate Horne\u2019s defeat.\u201d

He also said disclosure laws serve \u201csubstantial governmental interests,\u201d including providing voters with information to help them evaluate candidates and their sources of support. Winthrop said it deters corruption \u201cby exposing large contributions and expenditures to public light.\u201d

The appellate court also rejected Irvine\u2019s arguments the reporting requirements are unconstitutional because forcing groups to identify their donors would chill their free-speech rights.

"}, {"id":"a9ccf312-a853-5ed0-90b5-83ce295b07ab","type":"article","starttime":"1426733700","starttime_iso8601":"2015-03-18T19:55:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443557637","priority":30,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Court upholds cities' right to control election dates","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_a9ccf312-a853-5ed0-90b5-83ce295b07ab.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/court-upholds-cities-right-to-control-election-dates/article_a9ccf312-a853-5ed0-90b5-83ce295b07ab.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/court-upholds-cities-right-to-control-election-dates/article_a9ccf312-a853-5ed0-90b5-83ce295b07ab.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Goldwater Institute, on the losing side, examines its options.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["elections","goldwater institute","arizona supreme court","tucson"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":7,"commentID":"a9ccf312-a853-5ed0-90b5-83ce295b07ab","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 For the second time in three years, the Arizona Supreme Court has blocked efforts by state lawmakers to control when charter cities can hold their elections.

The justices on Tuesday rejected claims by the state Attorney General\u2019s Office that the Legislature is free to declare voters can go to the polls only on certain specified dates. They gave no reason for their ruling.

The action effectively approved a year-old ruling by the Court of Appeals which said that, at least for the state\u2019s 18 charter cities, when they hold their elections is none of the lawmakers\u2019 concern.

Tuesday\u2019s order may not be the last word.

\u2018\u2018The battle is not over,\u201d said Clint Bolick, attorney for the Goldwater Institute which pushed the change.

Bolick conceded there is no other avenue of appeal. But what is left, he said, is taking the issue to the 2016 ballot and asking voters to amend the Arizona Constitution, effectively overruling the courts.

The 2012 law declared elections can be be held only in even-numbered years, and only on four specific dates.

In pushing the legislation Bolick argued requiring cities to consolidate their local elections with those run by the state means more people make it to the polls, making it harder for special interest groups to get their way by working to turn out only those who see things their way.

But Steve Gallardo, then a Democratic lawmaker from Phoenix, said the measure is little more than partisan sour grapes.

Gallardo contends the Republican-controlled Legislature is interested in the issue only because the GOP candidate for Phoenix mayor in 2011 lost the race to a Democrat. He said Republican lawmakers believe only those days when federal, statewide and legislative offices are up for grabs might result in a different turnout.

Judge Michael Miller, writing last year\u2019s appellate court ruling, acknowledged a city holding an election in an odd-numbered year might make a difference. But he also said there is no clear evidence of whether that actually depresses turnout.

Miller also said there was some evidence that consolidated elections might save costs to local taxpayers. But he said that is none of the state\u2019s concern \u2014 at least not among cities where residents have exercised their state constitutional right to govern themselves through charters.

This isn\u2019t the first time Arizona lawmakers have tried to tinker with local elections.

In 2009, the Legislature voted to forbid cities from having partisan elections for mayor and council. The same law would have voided Tucson\u2019s modified ward system in which council candidates are nominated from each ward but elected citywide.

But the Arizona Supreme Court voided that law in 2012, ruling the Arizona Constitution gives charter cities special rights to control their own local matters.

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PHOENIX \u2014 A proposal approved by a House panel Monday would change who takes over in Arizona when a governor dies, quits or is forcibly removed from office.

Legislation before the Elections Committee would ask voters to create a new post of lieutenant governor, who would run for election with the governor on the same ticket.

The lieutenant governor, presumably, would be of the same party \u2014 or at least the same political philosophy \u2014 as the state\u2019s chief executive. Rep. J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler, said that will guarantee some sort of continuity.

\u201cThe voters wanted a particular vision in the governor\u2019s office when they supported the governor and don\u2019t intend that to change,\u201d he said. \u201cMany people don\u2019t fully grasp that the secretary of state is the one who takes over.\u201d And that person could have an entirely different philosophy \u2014 meaning a radical change in policy.

That occurred in 1988 when the Senate ejected Republican Evan Mecham from office after the House voted to impeach him, elevating Democrat Rose Mofford to the top spot. More recently, Democrat Janet Napolitano resigned in 2009 to take a job in the Obama administration, leaving Republican Jan Brewer in charge.

If the proposal is approved by the Legislature, it would also need voter approval in 2016 because it amends the Arizona Constitution.

"}, {"id":"32b0bc58-8600-523e-aa14-1c203eb9bbed","type":"article","starttime":"1423535280","starttime_iso8601":"2015-02-09T19:28:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443558518","priority":30,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Law would decriminalize showing off your ballot","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_32b0bc58-8600-523e-aa14-1c203eb9bbed.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/law-would-decriminalize-showing-off-your-ballot/article_32b0bc58-8600-523e-aa14-1c203eb9bbed.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/law-would-decriminalize-showing-off-your-ballot/article_32b0bc58-8600-523e-aa14-1c203eb9bbed.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Proposed law would decriminalize showing others your completed ballot.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["election","secret ballot","arizona legislature"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":7,"commentID":"32b0bc58-8600-523e-aa14-1c203eb9bbed","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Tweeting a picture of your completed early ballot, or posting it on Facebook is a crime.

Who knew?

Well, apparently the police in Phoenix knew, and they threatened to cite a voter for just such a violation, prompting a move by the Legislature to change the law.

HB 2536 came from Rep. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix.

\u201cI have a constituent who was threatened by the police with a misdemeanor because he had posted the way he voted, and posted it on Facebook,\u201d Boyer told the House Elections Committee.

The problem, he said, is a provision of law that makes it a crime to show a ballot after it has been voted \u201cin such a manner as to reveal the contents.\u201d The only exception is someone who is authorized to assist the voter.

This isn\u2019t so much an issue at polling places, where existing law already prohibits photography. That means no legal opportunity to take a picture of a completed ballot before it is put into the box or counting machine.

Early ballots, sent to voters to fill out and mail back, are something else because that provides the time and opportunity to take and post a picture, if a voter choses to.

Boyer said it was never the intent of the law to prevent that, but he acknowledged that\u2019s the way the law reads. And violators are subject to a fine of up to $750 and four months in jail.

Boyer\u2019s legislation would narrow the statute to say it is a crime solely to post or display someone else\u2019s ballot.

\u201cMoving forward, we will all be able to post on Twitter and Facebook how we voted,\u201d he said.

State Elections Director Eric Spencer told lawmakers he has no problem with the proposal.

But he warned them that, as worded, it would allow someone in a polling place to show everyone there how he or she voted before depositing the ballot in the box. Spencer said it is up to lawmakers whether they want that to happen.

Boyer acknowledged the point. But he said even that kind of situation should not subject someone to a fine and jail time.

The measure now needs approval by the full House.

"}, {"id":"8bfe20e6-376c-5bf1-b28e-6fe3440a65ae","type":"article","starttime":"1423363740","starttime_iso8601":"2015-02-07T19:49:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443558584","priority":30,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Democrats and Republicans lose more ground","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_8bfe20e6-376c-5bf1-b28e-6fe3440a65ae.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/democrats-and-republicans-lose-more-ground/article_8bfe20e6-376c-5bf1-b28e-6fe3440a65ae.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/democrats-and-republicans-lose-more-ground/article_8bfe20e6-376c-5bf1-b28e-6fe3440a65ae.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"PHOENIX \u2014 In the face of a continued swing toward independent voter registration, the state\u2019s Republican party has a message for the faithful: We\u2019re not as big a bunch of losers as the Democrats. In a newsletter Friday to party members, Chairman Robert Graham boasted the GOP voter registration lead over Democrats has grown in the last year. He said the advantage now stands at 5.5 percent, \u201cand we\u2019re not letting up.\u201d","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["voter registration","elections","republicans","democrats","independent voters"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":11,"commentID":"8bfe20e6-376c-5bf1-b28e-6fe3440a65ae","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 In the face of a continued swing toward independent voter registration, the state\u2019s Republican party has a message for the faithful: We\u2019re not as big a bunch of losers as the Democrats.

In a newsletter Friday to party members, Chairman Robert Graham boasted the GOP voter registration lead over Democrats has grown in the last year. He said the advantage now stands at 5.5 percent, \u201cand we\u2019re not letting up.\u201d

What Graham didn\u2019t mention is that his party actually lost 17,272 adherents. Meanwhile the number of Arizonans who don\u2019t want to be associated with any of the political parties increased by more than 43,000, and now stands at nearly 1.17 million \u2014 almost 36 percent of all registered voters \u2014 with there now being 53,000 more independents than Republicans.

So why are Republicans crowing?

\u201cWe\u2019re not last,\u201d said GOP spokesman Tim Sifert, emphasizing the fact Democratic registrations are down 29,000 over the same period.

But Barbara Lubin, Sifert\u2019s Democratic counterpart, insisted she\u2019s not concerned.

\u201cWe\u2019ll be fine,\u201d she said.

\u201cThe numbers aren\u2019t there,\u201d Lubin conceded. \u201cBut what wins elections is how people vote, not how they register.\u201d

If that\u2019s the yardstick, last year\u2019s election suggests Democrats are in trouble.

\u201cEvery single statewide (office) went to the Republican candidate as opposed to the Democrat candidate,\u201d Sifert said.

In fact, he noted, the Democrats didn\u2019t even bother to field contenders for treasurer or mine inspector.

Lubin, however, looks at the outcome of the legislative races. \u201cWe didn\u2019t gain any seats,\u201d she said. \u201cBut we didn\u2019t lose any.\u201d

The Republicans did manage to flip a congressional seat from Democratic control. Lubin brushed that off, saying Martha McSally eked out a win over incumbent Ron Barber by just 161 votes.

\u201cGranted, all across the country, people didn\u2019t vote,\u201d she said. \u201cAnd most of those were Democrats.\u201d

Still, she insists that, for Democrats, the best is yet to come.

\u201cIn two years we\u2019ve got the presidential (election) when people are much more engaged, including the younger people that consider themselves independents,\u201d Lubin said. And those are voters she thinks the Democrats can attract.

Sifert, however, said the election results show there are \u201cquite a few independent voters that are out there supporting Republican candidates.\u201d

So why don\u2019t they want to associate themselves with the GOP?

\u201cThere\u2019s probably a million reasons,\u201d Sifert said.

He acknowledged the move away from both major parties could be an issue.

\u201cIf an independent candidate could ever get together and run for office successfully, we might have a different scenario,\u201d Sifert said. \u201cBut, as you know, we\u2019re definitely a two-party state.\u201d

"}, {"id":"60b81122-e5ad-51ea-aaf6-dbb62f3a775f","type":"article","starttime":"1422320400","starttime_iso8601":"2015-01-26T18:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443558877","priority":30,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Lawmaker wants to restrict political robocalls","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_60b81122-e5ad-51ea-aaf6-dbb62f3a775f.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/lawmaker-wants-to-restrict-political-robocalls/article_60b81122-e5ad-51ea-aaf6-dbb62f3a775f.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/lawmaker-wants-to-restrict-political-robocalls/article_60b81122-e5ad-51ea-aaf6-dbb62f3a775f.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Voters should be able to opt out of receiving recorded calls, he says.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona","elections","arizona legislature","john kavanagh","robocalls"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections","#toptwo"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":9,"commentID":"60b81122-e5ad-51ea-aaf6-dbb62f3a775f","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Relief may be on the way for Arizona voters who find themselves flooded with robocalls from candidates and their supporters each election year.

Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, has introduced legislation to create a political \u201cdo not call\u201d list available to all Arizonans. Those who don\u2019t want the automated spiels could sign up to opt out.

Politicians who ignore the list could be hauled into court by the Attorney General\u2019s Office.

But under SB 1196, the most a court could do is issue an injunction, which Kavanagh conceded a politician could ignore without fear of additional penalty. The measure contains no financial penalties for violators.

Kavanagh said, though, he believes most politicians, and the consultants whom they hire, will honor the law if for no other reason than they really don\u2019t want to tick off voters.

\u201cThe last thing they want to do is send their candidate\u2019s robocall to somebody who hates them,\u201d he said. \u201cThen that person votes against their candidate.\u201d

The legislation is designed to supplement the National Do Not Call Registry, which applies to any program to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls. But it does not apply to calls by political organizations, charities or pollsters.

Kavanagh\u2019s legislation plugs that loophole, applying it to calls designed to influence an election \u2014 but only to the extent that the calls included a prerecorded or artificial voice. Candidates would remain free to dial up voters live, as would those working phone banks.

\u201cWe don\u2019t get complaints about live calls,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s just the robocalls that annoy people.\u201d

Kavanagh does know something about robocalls. He has used them in his legislative campaigns, even getting Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, also a Fountain Hills resident, to tape messages for him.

\u201cThey do appear to work,\u201d Kavanagh said, especially early in the campaign.

\u201cBut once you get to the end of the campaign and people have been bombarded by these, they become hostile.\u201d

Right now, Kavanagh said, the calls his campaign makes go out to all voters as there is no do-not-call list \u2014 and no way to tell who doesn\u2019t want to get them.

As for the lack of meaningful penalties, Kavanagh said, \u201cIt\u2019s very difficult to figure what a fine should be.\u201d

\u201cIf you do it on a per-call-made basis, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars if it was a statewide robocall, versus $50 if it was some local precinct committeeman trying to get elected,\u201d he explained. But that wasn\u2019t the only reason for his decision not to include a financial penalty for violators.

\u201cIf you put it in, that may cause the bill to fail because there would be a lot of lobbying against it,\u201d Kavanagh said.

Tim Sifert, spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party, said his organization would not comment on Kavanagh\u2019s proposal, at least not yet. But he acknowledged the move would affect what the state GOP does.

\u201cAs a party, we use every communications technology available to us in order to turn out the voters and encourage support for our candidates,\u201d Sifert said.

Barbara Lubin, Sifert\u2019s Democrat counterpart, also was noncommittal, saying her organization is still evaluating the measure. But Lubin said that whatever restrictions are enacted must be fair.

\u201cSuch measures must be very carefully written if the intent of the law is to apply equally to all the diverse organizations and individuals that are attempting to influence elections,\u201d she said.

Kavanagh acknowledged another big loophole: His proposal would not apply to the dozens of out-of-state special interest groups that annually seek to influence Arizona elections. That, he said, is something he can do little about, any more than the state has been able to force those out-of-state groups to disclose their donors.

The legislation has not yet been set for a hearing.

"}, {"id":"2e8329c2-807e-11e4-9b8c-bf11853395fc","type":"article","starttime":"1418223840","starttime_iso8601":"2014-12-10T08:04:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1418242571","sections":[{"local":"news/local"},{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"application":"editorial","title":"McSally assigned to House Armed Services Committee","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/article_2e8329c2-807e-11e4-9b8c-bf11853395fc.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/mcsally-assigned-to-house-armed-services-committee/article_2e8329c2-807e-11e4-9b8c-bf11853395fc.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/mcsally-assigned-to-house-armed-services-committee/article_2e8329c2-807e-11e4-9b8c-bf11853395fc.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":1,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Becky Pallack\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Even with mandatory recount underway, McSally moves forward with House work.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["martha mcsally","recount","house armed services committee","congress"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#elections","#photoside","#updated"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ede2a74e-f2b6-51e6-9c45-097c8fb94378","description":"Martha McSally, candidate for Congressional District 2, talks to supporters on election night. Tuesday November 04, 2014 Photo by: Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star","byline":"Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"409","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/de/ede2a74e-f2b6-51e6-9c45-097c8fb94378/546297137a05a.image.jpg?resize=620%2C409"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/de/ede2a74e-f2b6-51e6-9c45-097c8fb94378/5462971385bab.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"198","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/de/ede2a74e-f2b6-51e6-9c45-097c8fb94378/5462971386c3e.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"676","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/de/ede2a74e-f2b6-51e6-9c45-097c8fb94378/546297137a05a.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":16,"commentID":"2e8329c2-807e-11e4-9b8c-bf11853395fc","body":"

If the mandatory recount underway in the Arizona Congressional District 2 race confirms Martha McSally has won a seat in the House, she will replace incumbent Rep. Ron Barber on key committees.

McSally has received her committee assignment and would serve on the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees military and defense policy and budgets, and the House Homeland Security Committee.\u00a0McSally is a retired Air Force Colonel.

Barber currently serves on those committees.

\"The continuity of a strong voice for Southern Arizona on the congressional side is important,\" said\u00a0Brian Harpel, president of the DM-50, a group that supports the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. With McSally on the House Armed Services Committee and with Sen. John McCain as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Tucson will have \"two strong fighters\" for local military operations, Harpel said.

Armed Services chairman-select Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said he is excited about adding McSally to the committee.

\"With her many years' experience serving in the military and extensive national security expertise, there's no doubt Martha will be a strong asset to the committee, a strong leader for our country, and an effective advocate for the people she represents,\" Thornberry said\u00a0in a press release issued by McSally.

McSally is moving forward as if she will be sworn in on Jan. 3 with the rest of the House; however, a mandatory recount is underway in the very close Congressional race. Final results are expected next week.

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The recount in the Congressional District 2 race begins today.

Republican Martha McSally has a lead of 161 votes over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber. Because the vote difference between them is less than one-tenth of 1 percent, a recount is required.

Here\u2019s how the two-week process works.

1 Testing. Pima County\u2019s computers were tested Wednesday to ensure an accurate count. Testers included Arizona secretary of state officials, county elections department officials and political party representatives.

2 Machine counting. Seven tabulation machines will count up to 30,000 ballots a day, starting today. About 252,000 regular ballots, early ballots and provisional ballots will be recounted \u2014 more than the number of votes cast in the district, because the county doesn\u2019t have a way to separate only the early ballots from District 2. Other computers are counting even more ballots in Cochise County.

3 Hand counting. Once the machine counting is done, political party representatives will randomly select 5 percent of the CD2 precincts for a time-consuming hand count. That will probably happen Dec. 13.

4 Results. There may be a daily public update on the status of the vote count. Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said Dec. 16 is the deadline for the recount to be completed. The results won\u2019t be made public until Bennett turns them over to a Maricopa County Superior Court judge and the judge certifies the results.

5 Oath of office. The new Congress will be sworn in on Jan. 3.

"}, {"id":"df6d76c6-e3d4-5143-bd41-e734645b3a3a","type":"article","starttime":"1417590000","starttime_iso8601":"2014-12-03T00:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443560368","priority":41,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Court throws out suit to delay CD2 recount","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_df6d76c6-e3d4-5143-bd41-e734645b3a3a.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/court-throws-out-suit-to-delay-cd-recount/article_df6d76c6-e3d4-5143-bd41-e734645b3a3a.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/court-throws-out-suit-to-delay-cd-recount/article_df6d76c6-e3d4-5143-bd41-e734645b3a3a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Joe Ferguson \nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Locals objected to plans to use existing equipment to recount ballots in CD2 contest","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["martha mcsally","ron barber","arizona supreme court","bill risner","matt roberts","secretary of state","state supreme court","a. scott timme","clear ballot group","state election law","david yetman","shaun mcclusky","sandra spangler","arlene leaf","election"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582","description":"Arizona Daily Star","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"600","height":"375","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd495582681.image.jpg?resize=600%2C375"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"62","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd49560d63a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"187","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd49560de06.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"640","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd4955d6f10.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":9,"commentID":"df6d76c6-e3d4-5143-bd41-e734645b3a3a","body":"

The third legal challenge related to the Congressional District 2 vote tabulation was dismissed on Tuesday, with a state Supreme Court judge rejecting a lawsuit attempting to delay the recount.

Justice Ann A. Scott Timme rejected the lawsuit brought forward by seven CD2 voters after hearing legal arguments as part of a conference call. The two-page order does not explain her decision.

Attorney Bill Risner said his clients had deep concerns about the how the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office is planning on handling the recount.

Republican Martha McSally has a 161-vote lead over the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Ron Barber, which has triggered an automatic recount. Pima and Cochise counties are expected to start counting on Thursday.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett plans to order the counties to use the same scanners that were used in the general election but reprogrammed to only count votes cast in CD2.

Risner objects, asserting that state election law requires a new \u201cprogram\u201d be used as part of the recount.

\u201cThe intent of the Legislature is to provide a separate check on the computerized counting of votes so as to preserve the purity of our elections,\u201d he argued, noting that a third-party group has sent an unsolicited offer to election officials offering to perform the recount.

Matt Roberts, spokesman for the secretary of state, noted a solution proposed by the third-party group, Clear Ballot Group, probably wouldn\u2019t work.

Risner, a frequent critic of how elections in Pima County are handled, said the remedy doesn\u2019t have to use the third-party group, but asked the court to force the secretary of state to forgo implementing current plans.

CD2 voters David Yetman, Sandra Spangler, Arlene Leaf, David Morgan, David Henry Croteau, Shaun McClusky and Ted Downing filed the suit.

McSally and Barber have each brought suits since the Nov. 4 election. Both have been rejected by a judge.

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Pima and Cochise counties will start recounting ballots in Congressional District 2 on Thursday, but a final outcome is at least two weeks away.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett has set a date of Dec. 16 for the two counties to finish counting ballots in the tight race between Rep. Ron Barber and Martha McSally. McSally has a 161-vote lead over Barber. Because the vote difference between them is less than one-tenth of 1 percent, it triggered an automatic recount.

On Monday morning, Bennett certified the election results for the entire state and directed an assistant attorney general to appear before a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to formally request the required recount.

Pima County\u2019s election director, Brad Nelson, said his staff has already started preparing the county\u2019s seven vote-tabulation machines. Bennett said he will send staffers to Pima County on Wednesday to test the machines.

Pima County will need to count roughly 250,000 ballots in the next two weeks.

Some of those ballots are not in Congressional District 2, but because of how the county stores early ballots, they will still have to be run through the vote-counting machines, Nelson confirmed.

There will be no daily vote-count updates during the recount.

The results of the recount won\u2019t be made public until Bennett turns them over to a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.

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Attorneys for Ron Barber and Martha McSally will head into federal district court today, fighting over whether 133 rejected ballots in Congressional District 2 should be counted. \ufeff

The McSally campaign is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by her Democratic rival on Monday, arguing Barber\u2019s campaign does not standing in the case.

In filings with the federal district court here in Tucson, McSally attorney Brett W. Johnson argues the 133 rejected ballots in Congressional District 2 the Barber campaign wants counted are not enough to help Barber overcome the 161 vote lead McSally currently has in the tight race. \ufeff

\u201cSo even if Plaintiffs\u2019 allegations were true, the campaign still comes up more than two dozen votes shy of victory,\u201d writes Johnson.

Barber attorney Kevin J. Hamilton said on Monday the campaign has so far identified 133 voters whom he said have been disenfranchised, but left the door open to supplementing the legal challenge with additional names if and when they have are identified. \ufeff

Issues outlined by the Barber campaign include signatures not matching with those on file with the Recorder\u2019s Office, unsigned ballots, bad information provided by poll workers and voting in the wrong polling location.

Voters Josh Cohen, Lauren Breckenridge and Lea Goodwine-Cesarac have joined with Barber as plaintiffs in the case. \ufeff

Additionally, McSally\u2019s attorneys argue the hearing in federal court is premature.

Johnson argues the case should be filed after the Secretary of State certifies election results, \ufeffscheduled for Dec. 1.

The lawsuit for the Barber campaign is the latest in a series of attempts to get the rejected ballots counted.

Last week, both the Board of Supervisors in Pima and Cochise counties rejected requests by the Barber campaign to delay canvassing the results until the rejected ballots could be counted.

Similarly, the Arizona Secretary of State rejected a request by the Barber campaign to delay certifying election results next week.

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PHOENIX \u2014 She won\u2019t officially take office for more than a month, but foes of newly elected state school superintendent Diane Douglas have already taken the first step toward recalling her.

Although they can\u2019t gather their first signature for more than seven months, the Coalition to Recall Diane Douglas has filed the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State\u2019s Office required by Arizona law to get involved in elections.

The filing gives them the legal ability to start soliciting funds for the effort.

Maxwell Goshert, the committee\u2019s treasurer, said this is the first step to what he believes will be Douglas\u2019 ouster close to a year from now.

But a lot remains to be done.

The Arizona Constitution requires the signatures of 25 percent of the people who voted in the most recent gubernatorial election to even call for such a vote.

That figure won\u2019t be finalized until the vote is formally canvassed this coming week. But preliminary figures put the target in the range of 367,000 signatures.

They cannot legally start collecting signatures until Douglas, who squeaked to a narrow victory over Democrat David Garcia, has been in office for six months.

Goshert said it\u2019s conceivable that the recall will not proceed.

\u201cShe has six months to prove herself to voters,\u201d he said. Goshert said recall organizers are willing to give her that chance.

\u201cBut we believe we\u2019re not going to be impressed by what she does in the next six months in office,\u201d he said. \u201cSo we\u2019re preparing for what it will take to get a recall in action. Because it\u2019s going to take a lot of momentum to make people aware of who she is, what she is trying to do,\u201d other than repeal the Common Core academic standards, on which she largely campaigned.

Douglas did not return phone calls and email messages seeking comment.

Even if Goshert\u2019s group gets the signatures, there\u2019s no telling whether voters, having just put her in office for a four-year term, are willing to oust her early.

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The Ron Barber campaign has decided to make a federal case out of 133 rejected ballots in Congressional District 2. \ufeff

The campaign filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Monday, asking a federal judge to order the counting of ballots that\ufeff are missing signatures, where the person went to the wrong polling place or where poll workers allegedly gave voters incorrect information.

The court has not yet scheduled a hearing on the request, but Barber campaign representatives hope to make their case in front of a judge today.

The incumbent Democrat is 161 votes behind his Republican rival, retired Air Force colonel Martha McSally. \ufeff

Barber attorney Kevin J. Hamilton is asking a \ufeffjudge for a temporary restraining order delaying certification of the results until the additional ballots can be reviewed. He argued the campaign simply wants all legally cast ballots to be counted. \ufeff

\u201cThe voters cast their ballots in accordance with federal and state law, and some cases with specific direction from poll workers, but their ballots were not counted,\u201d Hamilton said.

Issues outlined by the Barber campaign include \ufeffsignatures not matching with those on file with the Recorder\u2019s Office, unsigned ballots, bad information provided by poll workers and \ufeffvoting in the wrong polling location.

Voters Josh Cohen, Lauren Breckenridge and Lea Goodwine-Cesarac have joined with Barber as plaintiffs in the case. \ufeff

Goodwine-Cesarac, an 81-year-old great-grandmother of 13, said she is upset her vote wasn\u2019t counted, blaming poll workers for not directing her to the correct polling place.

\u201cI never thought my vote would be tossed out in the trash instead of being counted, Goodwine-Cesarac told reporters. \u201cWe are not asking for special treatment; we are asking to be heard and for our votes to be counted.

With 479 provisional ballots rejected in Pima County, some are asking why the Barber campaign is not asking the federal judge to consider reviewing all of the ballots rather than the 133 the Barber campaign has submitted.

Hamilton said in the last week and half of research the campaign has been able to identify problems with 133 ballots.

\u201cWe know they have been legally cast, we\u2019ve outlined the legal arguments. Certainly those should be counted,\u201d Hamilton said, saying he was not aware of any other additional ballots that should be counted.

Hamilton acknowledged Monday that an earlier estimate of 156 to 167 votes was inaccurate, learning over the weekend that some of the previously identified voters \ufeff had their votes counted.

On Friday, the Barber campaign had asked the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office to count an additional 156 ballots that have not been counted in Congressional District 2.

A spokesperson for the state agency said the \ufeffoffice will proceed with plans to certify the election, noting it is the county\u2019s responsibility to count ballots.

A representative for the McSally campaign did not return calls seeking comment.

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The Barber for Congress campaign has filed a lawsuit in federal court in an attempt to get 133 disqualified ballots counted.

Kevin Hamilton, an attorney for\u00a0Ron Barber, announced on Monday morning that the campaign is asking a federal judge to force Pima and Cochise counties to count ballots from voters who forgot to sign their ballots or went to the wrong polling place.

Local voters Josh Cohen, Lauren Breckenridge and Lea Goodwine-Cesarac have joined with Barber as plaintiffs in the case. Barber is expected to ask a federal judge as early as tomorrow for a restraining order while the additional ballots are counted.

Barber\u00a0is down 161 votes in the CD2 race against Republican challenger\u00a0Martha McSally.

On Friday, the Barber campaign had asked the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office to count an additional 156 ballots that have not been counted in Congressional District 2.\u00a0Hamilton said Monday that some of those voted have been counted.

A spokesperson for the state agency said the Secretary of State\u2019s Office will proceed with plans to certify the election, noting it is the county's responsibility to count ballots.\u00a0\u00a0

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Raul Grijalva

With the changing make-up of Congress after the last election, our senators and representatives will have new, or in some cases continuing, roles on important committees. Here\u2019s a quick look at their assignments.

We\u2019re omitting Rep. Ron Barber and Martha McSally because the results of their race are not final.

Rep. Ra\u00fal Grijalva

New role: Ranking member of the Natural Resources Committee.

On the agenda: Keystone XL Pipeline and bills related to energy and energy efficiency.

Where he stands: \u201cI will continue my efforts to ensure oil companies don\u2019t cut corners to place the pursuit of massive profits over the well-being of the American people,\u201d he said in a press statement. \u201cAnd while I will oppose Republican encroachments to environmental laws, I will work towards common ground wherever it can be found.\u201d

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick

Role: Ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee\u2019s oversight and investigations subcommittee.

On the agenda: Efficiency, accountability and access issues at the Veterans Affairs Department.

Where she stands: After passing a reform bill expanding veterans\u2019 choices for health-care providers, Kirkpatrick has said more attention is needed on problems with homelessness, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, and that technology should be upgraded at VA centers.

Sen. Jeff Flake

Role: Unofficial tax-dollar watchdog.

On the agenda: There\u2019s no specific committee for this, but Flake regularly calls out government waste. His summer series, \u201cPrime Cuts,\u201d featured social media posts that looked like grocery coupons advertising huge potential savings for taxpayers if the government were to cut wasteful spending.

Where he stands: When the National Taxpayers Union gave him the Taxpayers\u2019 Friend Award earlier this fall, Flake sent out a press release saying, \u201cIt\u2019s nice to have others recognize what my wife has known for years \u2014 that I\u2019m a cheapskate.\u201d

Sen. John McCain

New role: Chair of the Armed Services committee.

On the agenda: The U.S. role in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine and other conflict areas.

Where he stands: \u201cThe administration\u2019s current strategy in Syria is a disaster,\u201d McCain said in a press statement earlier this month.

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The Pima County Election Integrity Commission is concerned that state law might complicate the expected recount in Congressional District 2 next month.

The commission fears complexities in the recount law could force Pima and Cochise counties to recount all 220,000 votes in the CD2 race by hand, although Secretary of State\u2019s Office spokesman Matt Roberts said there are easier ways to comply with the law. A portion of the state\u2019s election law requires that the ballot tabulating program used for the recount \u201cdiffer\u201d from the initial vote counting system. But the law is vague on what exact changes need to be made.

Commissioner Bill Beard said the commission, which advises the Pima County Board of Supervisors, is in virgin territory in terms of the state\u2019s first general election congressional recount.

He said that while the commission is not making any recommendations, it is important that the supervisors be aware of the state law.

Possible alternatives could include a recount by hand, Beard said.

But Roberts said the law won\u2019t require new machines or an army of election officials.

Instead, he said, officials in Cochise and Pima counties will use the same equipment, but for the recount the scanners will be reprogrammed to count only votes cast for the Congressional District 2 race.

Incumbent Democrat Ron Barber is down 161 votes in the CD2 race against Republican challenger Martha McSally.

On Friday, the Barber campaign asked the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office to count an additional 156 ballots that have not been counted in Congressional District 2.

Of the rejected ballots the Barber campaign wants to have counted, 147 come from Pima County and nine come from Cochise County.

\u201cMistakes happen in every election, and in a race this close, the right thing to do is to rectify those mistakes by counting every lawful vote,\u201d said Kyle Quinn-Quesada, campaign manager for Ron Barber for Congress.

Additionally, the campaign contends that 11 other voters in Cochise County whose early ballots were not signed should be fixed, but they are separate from the request to count the 156 additional ballots.

A spokesman for the secretary of state said the counties count ballots, not the state agency.

The secretary of state is expected to move forward on certifying the election results on Dec. 1.

However, both campaigns have given indications that they may be preparing court challenges over disqualified ballots, which, if successful, could alter the outcome.

State law mandates a recount if the margin between the two in the initial tabulation is less than 200 votes.

Beyond the possible legal challenges, the Federal Contested Elections Act of 1969 could become another complicating factor, if either side pushes to evoke it.

The law allows contested-election cases to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives but requires a proof of fraud or other election improprieties to be considered.

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The fight to count some, if not all, of the 479 rejected provisional ballots cast in Congressional District 2 continues here in Pima County, with all indications it is headed for the courtroom.

Legal teams representing the Ron Barber and Martha McSally campaigns have flooded the Pima County Recorder\u2019s Office, making more than two dozen requests for public documents.

Attorneys are also calling those who cast provisional ballots, asking them to offer up their stories that led to their ballots being rejected, and to sign declarations, likely to be used in future legal proceedings.

Both campaigns have refused to discuss their legal strategies. But the requests seem to have set the stage that both sides are at least preparing to file legal challenges in Pima County.

The requests have created a near constant din in County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez\u2019s offices as her staff moves boxes, shuffles paperwork and feeds copiers to comply with the mounting requests.

The response to one request, Rodriguez said, barely fit into five office boxes, containing thousands of pages of precinct registers from every precinct in Congressional District 2 inside of Pima County.

Rodriguez \u2014 a 20-year veteran of the office \u2014 says she doesn\u2019t have a guess as to why the McSally legal team is asking for the registers, since there is no way to tie them back to the ballots cast weeks ago.

While her staff may be worn out from the attention in one of the few national races still undecided weeks after the general election, a growing number of angry residents have been calling her office.

Unsolicited calls from both campaigns asking locals whom they voted for and informing them \u2014 sometimes incorrectly \u2014 that their ballots were not counted have led to a number of complaints, Rodriguez said.

Andy Gordon, a Phoenix-based attorney with experience in election-related cases, reviewed the requests from the Barber and McSally campaigns.

The second set of requests made by an attorney representing the McSally campaign, Brett W. Johnson with the Snell and Wilmer law offices, asked for 21 different documents, including the precinct registers.

Gordon said he found a few of the requests \u201cpuzzling\u201d but said it wasn\u2019t clear what the legal strategy might be for some of the document requests.

Eric Spencer, the lead attorney for the McSally campaign, declined to discuss specifics, but he said he has agreed to prioritize their requests in an effort to make it easier on county staffers.

The McSally team already has filed one legal complaint against Pima County, asking a judge to force the county Elections Department to set aside provisional ballots lacking an election worker\u2019s signature.

A Pima County Superior Court judge refused to grant a temporary restraining order, leading to the McSally campaign withdrawing the complaint.

Kevin J. Hamilton, a Phoenix attorney representing the Barber campaign, said they have tried to make modest requests of county staffers as they push to get every vote counted in CD2.

The Barber for Congress campaign has identified an estimated 167 residents of CD2 who voted provisionally but have had their votes disqualified.

The current margin between McSally and Barber is 161 votes, with McSally the apparent winner of the CD2 race.

The Barber campaign tried this week to persuade county officials to delay canvassing in both Pima and Cochise counties but failed.

It is expected the campaign will make a similar attempt with the secretary of state by the end of the month.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Tom Horne will pay $10,000 out of his own pocket, ending an investigation into whether he illegally used staffers at the Attorney General\u2019s Office in his unsuccessful re-election campaign.

The deal, set for review today by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, ends the threat Horne could be liable for close to $1 million in penalties arising from allegations that \u201cvolunteers\u201d for his Republican primary fight were not really volunteers, but instead state employees in his office.

That is based on a conclusion by Thomas Collins, the commission\u2019s executive director, that Horne used more than $300,000 worth of state employee time and rent in his unsuccessful race.

That amount was not reported on his campaign finance forms. And state law allows penalties up to three times the unreported amount.

Under the terms of the settlement, Horne has to pay the fine himself. He cannot seek reimbursement from any political committee or legal defense fund.

But even if the agreement is approved by the commission, that does not solve all of Horne\u2019s legal problems related to his campaign.

The Secretary of State\u2019s Office has referred a separate complaint about the same issues to Solicitor General Robert Ellman, who is part of Horne\u2019s office.

Ellman, in turn, has farmed the inquiry out to two other private attorneys. That inquiry is ongoing.

Collins said the commission deal also does not affect a separate complaint filed with the Maricopa County Attorney\u2019s Office alleging misuse of public funds.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who supported Mark Brnovich, Horne\u2019s successful GOP primary foe and ultimately the winner of the general election, said that inquiry is being handled by others in his office.

But Montgomery said, as a general matter, the settlement of the campaign finance charges would not affect any criminal probe.

Horne declined to comment until after today\u2019s commission vote.

The inquiry began with a complaint by Sarah Beattie, a former AG\u2019s Office staffer, who said she worked on Horne\u2019s re-election bid, and saw other staffers do the same, on state time. Collins, who conducted a preliminary investigation, said there was evidence to back those charges.

For example, he cited an April campaign meeting where, with the exception of a paid out-of-state media consultant, all of those in attendance were employees of the office.

Collins also wrote, in a September recommendation to the commission, that there were \u201cseamless operations\u201d between the state agency and the campaign \u201cat the highest levels,\u201d including fundraising, which show Horne effectively took donations from state taxpayers.

Collins said this is legally no different than if a private corporation had paid its employees to \u201cvolunteer\u201d for a campaign.

That would make the politician the beneficiary of illegal corporate donations. Similarly, public funds cannot be used for campaigning.

Further, Collins said, Horne did not report the value of the donations as legally required on campaign finance reports.

Collins said the settlement, if approved by the commission, makes sense.

\u201cIt acknowledges that it\u2019s illegal for state employees to campaign on state time,\u201d he said. \u201cIt involves a significant fine.\u201d

And Collins said it requires Horne to abide by any findings related to the secretary of state\u2019s complaint about failure to follow campaign finance laws. He said that means Horne will have to fully account for the value of each and every hour of state employee staff time and office space used by his campaign.

Deputy Secretary of State Jim Drake, in his preliminary investigation, found his own reasons to believe that Horne had violated the law.

Drake said Horne\u2019s responses to the inquiry backed up Beattie\u2019s claims that workers at Horne\u2019s office \u201cwere not volunteering but instead were being compensated by the state of Arizona while conducting campaign activities.\u201d That included using state computers to prepare campaign materials on state time.

And Drake said Horne submitted no evidence that his office followed state laws or other procedures \u201cto prevent campaign activities from occurring during these work hours, which could have provided a viable and meaningful defense to these allegations.\u201d

Horne is also still facing separate charges, and a potential $1.2 million penalty, in connection with his first campaign for attorney general in 2010.

In that case, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk said Horne had illegally coordinated his campaign with what was supposed to be an independent committee.

Horne is appealing a Maricopa County Superior Court ruling that requires Horne to refund nearly $400,000 Polk said his campaign received illegally, with a potential penalty of up to three times that amount.

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Attorneys for U.S. Rep. Ron Barber failed to persuade a majority of the Pima County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to postpone canvassing the general election results.

The Barber for Congress campaign argued for the delay after producing 132 signed declarations from registered Pima County voters whose ballots were disqualified for what the campaign contends were inadequate grounds.

Most of the disqualified ballots were for people voting at the wrong polling place, failing to sign their mail ballot as legally required or because their ballot signature didn\u2019t match their voter registration signature.

Barber, a Democrat, is down 161 votes in the Congressional District 2 race to Republican challenger Martha McSally, who is in Washington this week for freshman lawmaker orientation. The race is likely headed to an automatic recount next month.

In arguing for a delay, attorney Kevin Hamilton, representing the Barber campaign, blamed county election workers and the U.S. Postal Service for disenfranchising voters. He alleged:

\u201cIn light of these errors and likelihood that other errors have been made that can easily be remedied, the board should delay certification of the canvass and count the ballots that were cast by the declarants and any other individual whose votes were improperly rejected,\u201d Hamilton asked the supervisors in a letter delivered Tuesday morning.

The board voted 4-1 against the request, with Supervisor Richard El\u00edas dissenting

Hamilton predicted more voters would be identified in the coming days, saying the campaign would ask the Cochise County Board of Supervisors on Thursday for a similar delay.

He declined to estimate how many voters have been denied the right to vote in the smaller Cochise County.

Hamilton said he believes he has a compelling case to make to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, and depending on their decision, possibly the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office.

One of the many stories listed in the Barber complaint is that of 81-year-old Lea Goodwin-Cesarec, who told the Barber campaign she was given a provisional ballot and was not told that she was at the wrong polling place.

The state\u2019s top election official is expected to certify the election results on Dec. 1.

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said she is still reviewing the thick stack of documents delivered to her office on Tuesday by the Barber campaign.

She rejected the argument that poll workers were the only source to help voters find their polling place on Election Day, noting the information is readily found on the county\u2019s website.

Rodriguez added that she spoke to several dozen people on Election Day as she helped to answer phones .

The head of the county\u2019s Elections Department, Brad Nelson, did not return a call for comment.

Hamilton said it was too early to discuss any legal strategy.

But an election attorney in Phoenix, Andy Gordon, explained that if the Barber campaign filed a legal challenge, it would be a slow-moving process.

Each of the voters, he said, would have to go to court, where they would have to testify and face cross-examination from attorneys from the county and likely the McSally campaign.

An attorney representing the McSally campaign argued to the Pima Country supervisors on Tuesday that the complaint should be made in a courtroom, not in front of the board.

McSally lawyer Eric Spencer told the board it had no legal authority to delay the canvass unless ballots were missing. While some are under dispute, none are missing.

A request for comment to the McSally campaign was not immediately returned.

The outcome of the election won\u2019t be official until next month, but McSally reinforced her recent claim to victory by showing up in Washington for freshman orientation Monday.

\u201cAfter nearly three years, some $20 million in ads, and two campaigns, it\u2019s time to come together,\u201d McSally said in her victory announcement.

She added that she was looking forward to \u201crolling up\u201d her sleeves and getting right to work.

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PHOENIX \u2014 The fact that politics may have been involved in drawing new legislative district lines is no reason to declare them illegal, the attorney for the Independent Redistricting Commission told the U.S. Supreme Court.

In legal arguments to the court, Mary O\u2019Grady does not dispute that two federal judges found that some of the commissioners altered the boundaries of at least one district to make it more politically competitive, a move that would give Democratic candidates a better chance of getting elected.

And O\u2019Grady conceded the final map for the 30 districts had a population differential of 8.8 percent between the largest and smallest, despite requirements for equal population.

But she said the full commission approved the plan not out of partisan motives but because the panel believed it would provide the best chance of complying with the federal Voting Rights Act.

That law generally prohibits political changes that dilute minority voting strength. And that, she told the justices, justifies the changes, as well as the population differential.

The effort by challengers to void the map is more than a debate about legal niceties.

If the high court finds the commission acted illegally, it could order new maps without the population differentials. That could give Republicans a greater chance of getting elected and of further improving the 17-13 edge they already have in the state Senate and the 36-24 advantage they enjoy in the House.

The legal fight has its roots in a 2000 voter-approved constitutional amendment that took away the Legislature\u2019s power to draw its own districts, as well as congressional lines, and gave that decennial chore to the commission. It requires commissioners to create districts that respect communities of interest, use county boundaries when possible, create as many politically competitive districts as possible, and have districts of equal size.

Using 2010 census figures, each district should have about 213,000 residents. But the commission, by its own admission, had districts ranging from about 203,000 to more than 220,000.

Republican challengers filed suit, alleging the disparities were illegal, especially since they were done for political purposes, they said.

The three-judge panel that heard the case said the evidence showed that \u201cpartisanship played some role in the design of the map.\u201d But the court ruled the U.S. Constitution does not require that legislative districts have precisely equal population, saying there can be \u201cdivergencies\u201d necessary to achieve other goals. And in this case, it said the commission\u2019s decision to manipulate the lines was \u201cprimarily a result of good-faith efforts to comply with the Voting Rights Act.\u201d

That led attorney Thor Heane, representing the GOP interests, to seek Supreme Court review. He contends the Voting Rights Act cannot justify what he called \u201csystematic population inequality on the basis of race, ethnicity or partisanship.\u201d

O\u2019Grady, however, wants the high court to reject that contention, accept the findings of the trial judges, and toss out the challenge.

\u201cThe (Supreme) Court\u2019s role isn\u2019t to retry the case,\u201d she said, but to simply review the decision of that three-judge panel and determine if their legal conclusions were correct.

\u201cThere was a full trial and a review of the complete commission record,\u201d O\u2019Grady said. \u201cAnd the court found ... that the population deviations in the map were not the result of partisanship, and they were justified by a desire to comply with the Voting Rights Act.\u201d

But O\u2019Grady said it really wouldn\u2019t matter, at least not in terms of federal constitutional requirements, even if the commission did craft a map with Democrats in mind.

\u201cThe court has never held that partisanship is an invalid purpose in the redistricting process,\u201d she said. Anyway, she argued, the findings of the trial judges that there was some partisan motive in drawing the lines was really about a single district which stretches from Casa Grande through Florence and the San Tan Valley all the way to Globe in one corner, and Oracle in the other. That district is below the \u201cideal\u201d population.

O\u2019Grady said the trial court did conclude two of the five commissioners pushed the change to improve Democratic prospects by reducing Republican population. But she said that was not to guarantee a Democrat would be elected but simply to make the district \u201ccompetitive.\u201d

Anyway, O\u2019Grady said the change was not approved until the majority of the commission was convinced the change was necessary to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

As it turned out, the district was far from a Democratic shoo-in: Voters elected Democrat Barbara McGuire to the state Senate in 2012, and again this year. But the two House seats have been held by Republicans Frank Pratt and T.J. Shope.

A Supreme Court ruling against the commission would affect far more than District 8, as many of the districts are above or below that \u201cideal\u201d population.

The court has given no indication when it will rule.

"}, {"id":"2172ce63-d8f3-5f5e-8356-c2ea52356b82","type":"article","starttime":"1415775600","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-12T00:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443560962","priority":38,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"State Supreme Court asked to uphold campaign finance disclosure","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_2172ce63-d8f3-5f5e-8356-c2ea52356b82.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/state-supreme-court-asked-to-uphold-campaign-finance-disclosure/article_2172ce63-d8f3-5f5e-8356-c2ea52356b82.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/state-supreme-court-asked-to-uphold-campaign-finance-disclosure/article_2172ce63-d8f3-5f5e-8356-c2ea52356b82.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Laws should apply to dark money groups, Maricopa County Attorney argues.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["election","tom horne","dark money","campaign finance disclosure"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":9,"commentID":"2172ce63-d8f3-5f5e-8356-c2ea52356b82","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Maricopa County prosecutors want the Arizona Supreme Court to rule \u201cdark money\u201d groups cannot anonymously say nasty things about candidates just because they don\u2019t explicitly mention the upcoming election.

Colleen Connor, a deputy county attorney, asked the justices to rule commercials, mailers and other materials aimed at voters can be considered trying to influence an election even if they don\u2019t use words like \u201cvote for\u201d or \u201csupport.\u201d She said the disclosure requirement comes down to a question of common sense: Is there any other reasonable explanation for the item.

A ruling in her favor would allow her office to pursue campaign finance charges against the Committee for Justice and Fairness. It ran a last-minute commercial about Tom Horne just prior to the 2010 election but did not register with the state first or ever disclose its funding.

A contrary ruling would do more than get the committee off the legal hook. It effectively would blast a large hole in state laws that require voters to be told who is trying to influence them.

The commercial in question ran in October 2010 as Horne was seeking election as attorney general.

It said when Horne was a legislator he \u201cvoted against tougher penalties for statutory rape,\u201d and that as state schools chief and a member of the Arizona Board of Education, he voted to allow a teacher who had been caught \u201clooking at child pornography on a school computer\u201d to return to the classroom

The commercial then urged viewers to \u201ctell Superintendent Horne to protect children, not people who harm them,\u201d complete with a photo of Horne and his phone number at the Department of Education.

After the election, which Horne won, it came out that the $1.5 million expenditure came from the Democratic Attorneys General Association, which was backing Felecia Rotellini, his Democrat foe.

Maricopa County sought to punish the committee for failing to disclose. But Tom Irvine, the group\u2019s lawyer, convinced a trial judge the ad was exempt because it was \u201cissue-oriented speech\u201d and not \u201cexpress advocacy.\u201d

Earlier this year, though, the state Court of Appeals overturned that decision, concluding the timing of the commercial and its content show its only purpose could be to try to sway voters not to support Horne.

Irvine sought review by the state\u2019s high court. He contends the commercial needs to be judged by the words in it \u2014 and, in this case, those not in it \u2014 rather than trying to judge what is its purpose.

Connor, in her legal filings, wants the Supreme Court to read the law more liberally.

That law does mention the use of \u201cmagic words\u201d like \u201celect\u201d or \u201cendorse\u201d to determine if a commercial or other item is designed to influence voters.

But it also says an item can be considered advocacy \u2014 and subject to campaign finance reporting requirements \u2014 if the words \u201cin context can have no other reasonable meaning other than to advocate the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates.\u201d Connor said that clearly is the case here.

Connor also told the court nothing in the law infringes on the First Amendment rights of groups that want to run this kind of advertising.

She acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court, in its landmark 2010 Citizens United ruling, struck down limits on wholesale outside spending. But she said the justices found no problem with laws requiring disclosure, with the court calling that \u201ca less restrictive alternative to more comprehensive regulations of speech.\u201d

The justices have not yet decided whether they will consider Irvine\u2019s plea. If they do not, the Court of Appeals ruling applies, the campaign finance laws are presumed legal, and his committee has to answer the charges of violating those laws before a trial judge.

"}, {"id":"891d19a7-f76d-5361-9d45-9d9a3f14c098","type":"article","starttime":"1415772000","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-11T23:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443560967","priority":45,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"McSally apparent CD2 winner; recount all but certain","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_891d19a7-f76d-5361-9d45-9d9a3f14c098.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/mcsally-apparent-cd-winner-recount-all-but-certain/article_891d19a7-f76d-5361-9d45-9d9a3f14c098.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/mcsally-apparent-cd-winner-recount-all-but-certain/article_891d19a7-f76d-5361-9d45-9d9a3f14c098.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Joe Ferguson \nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Potential legal disputes, state-mandated tally could delay official declaration until December.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["cd2","congressional district 2","martha mcsally","ron barber","election"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#top5","#elections","#photoside"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582","description":"Arizona Daily Star","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"600","height":"375","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd495582681.image.jpg?resize=600%2C375"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"62","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd49560d63a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"187","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd49560de06.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"640","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/af/0afccd93-d11e-5cef-b336-c35244bf9582/53dd4955d6f10.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":22,"commentID":"891d19a7-f76d-5361-9d45-9d9a3f14c098","body":"

With just 200 votes left to count countywide, Republican Martha McSally is the apparent winner of the Congressional District 2 seat.

McSally holds a 133-vote lead over incumbent Democrat Ron Barber.

However, with at least one legal challenge already filed over provisional ballots, and a full recount of the nearly 220,00 ballots cast, it will be weeks before a winner is officially declared to Southern Arizona voters.

Barber first won the seat in a 2012 special election to finish the term of his former boss, Gabrielle Giffords. Later that year he was re-elected to a two-year term of his own.

Pima County finished counting more than 4,700 provisional ballots Wednesday afternoon. While Barber\u2019s total inched a few votes closer, McSally still maintained a small lead.

State law mandates a recount if the margin between the two candidates is 200 or fewer votes. The Secretary of State\u2019s Office anticipates it will be early next month before the recount is done because the results first have to be certified, then a judge has to formally order the recount.

McSally campaign spokesman Patrick Ptak issued a statement saying the campaign is confident the retired Air Force colonel will prevail even after the recount.

\u201cThere are still ballots left to count, but we are confident that when all ballots are in, our lead will hold. We will continue to provide oversight of the process until then,\u201d he said.

On Monday the McSally campaign filed a court action to stop the count until thousands of provisional ballots could be reviewed to make sure they were all properly signed by an election official, indicating they believe some unspecified number had not been.

Her campaign team gave no indication whether they will continue to pursue that complaint.

Barber for Congress spokeswoman Ashley Nash-Hahn said with the margin only 133 votes, the race is simply too close to call.

She hinted the Barber team is concerned about the hundreds of ballots that have been rejected by Pima County.

\u201cWe remain committed to protecting the integrity of the vote in Southern Arizona. In Pima County, 782 voters had their ballots rejected, and those votes have not been counted,\u201d she said. \u201cDuring the legal recount process, we will work to see that every lawful vote is counted and that the voices of Southern Arizona are heard.\u201d

She gave no indication whether the Barber campaign would pursue a separate court action over those ballots.

Chief Deputy Recorder Chris Roads said the majority of those ballots were disqualified either \u201cbecause the person was not registered to vote or because they voted in the wrong district.\u201d

While there are still about 200 conditional provisional votes the Pima County Elections Department could count, it is unknown how many fall within CD2, or how many will actually ever be counted.

Today is the deadline for those who cast a conditional provisional ballot to bring their identification to the County Recorder\u2019s Office before their ballots can be verified and counted.

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Republican Ethan Orr has lost his District 9 House seat in the Legislature to Democratic newcomer Randy Friese.

With only a few hundred votes left to count in Pima County \u2014 and a fraction of those votes likely cast in his district \u2014 Orr, who served one term, trails his Democratic rival by 123 votes, as of Tuesday night.

Incumbent Democrat Victoria Steele continues to lead the race with nearly 500 votes more than Orr in the heavily Democratic district that covers Tucson\u2019s north side and parts of midtown.

The remaining 200 conditional provisional ballots from precincts scattered across the county won\u2019t even be counted unless those voters return to the Pima County Recorders office by 5 p.m. tonight to show identification so their ballots can be verified.

Other races that remained too close to call until the last big block of votes was tabulated Tuesday:

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 4

Democrat Charlene Fernandez has won in her race for the second House seat in District 4, with a 185 vote lead over Republican challenger Richard Hopkins. Democratic incumbent Lisa Otondo had already claimed the district\u2019s other seat.

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 8

In the Senate race, Democratic incumbent Barbara McGuire pulled away from Republican Irene Littleton, to claim another term in office by 543 votes.

AMPHITHEATER SCHOOL DISTRICT

Scott Leska joined Jo Grant as winners of the three-way race for two seats on the school board.

VAIL SCHOOL DISTRICT

Jon Aitken captured the second seat on the board, joining Claudia Anderson, who was the leading vote getter.

SAHUARITA SCHOOL DISTRICT

Tom Murphy and John Sparks won the two available seats on the board.

"}, {"id":"a1b91254-0e50-5b77-afe7-7693373704f2","type":"article","starttime":"1415761200","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-11T20:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443560959","priority":45,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"CD2 recount almost certain, but it will take time","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_a1b91254-0e50-5b77-afe7-7693373704f2.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/cd-recount-almost-certain-but-it-will-take-time/article_a1b91254-0e50-5b77-afe7-7693373704f2.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/cd-recount-almost-certain-but-it-will-take-time/article_a1b91254-0e50-5b77-afe7-7693373704f2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Joe Ferguson \nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Votes won't be certified until Dec. 1. Legal fights could pose delays.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["martha mcsally","ron barber","cd2","congressional district 2","michael o'neil","election","recount","arizona"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#toptwo","#elections","#photoside"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":15,"commentID":"a1b91254-0e50-5b77-afe7-7693373704f2","body":"

A recount in the Congressional District 2 race most likely will take place, but not until at least December at the earliest.

The 133-vote gap between Democrat Ron Barber and Martha McSally is small enough to trigger an automatic recount according to state law, but Secretary of State Ken Bennett won\u2019t ask a judge for a recount until after the statewide results are certified next month.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors is expected to canvass election results next week, but Bennett is not expected to certify those results until Dec. 1, when he signs off on all the races on this year\u2019s ballot.

Once the results are official and show less than a 200-vote margin, Bennett will present them to a judge in Maricopa County Superior Court, who will be asked to order the recount.

The recount is expected to be done by machines in Pima and Cochise counties after they are recalibrated and certified to count just the CD2 race.

Secretary of State\u2019s Office spokesman Matt Roberts was confident a recount might change the vote tallies slightly, but he said it is unlikely to change the outcome of the race.

Typically, Roberts noted, the number of votes may shift a little, but not enough to change the outcome.

The last statewide recount happened in 2010, when the opposition to Proposition 112 tallied 128 more voters than those supporting the measure.

After the recount, those opposed to the measure won by a 194 votes.

Andy Gordon, who has been involved in political races for several decades in Arizona, said he can\u2019t remember a single race when a recount changed the outcome of a close contest.

Gordon worked with former Congressman Sam Coppersmith, who was part of a recount in 1994 when he won the Democratic primary to run for the U.S. Senate by just 99 votes.

A recount decreased his lead, but Coppersmith still won by 40 votes.

Michael O\u2019Neil, president of O\u2019Neil Associates Inc. of Tempe, said he expects intense scrutiny of some ballots by both parties in the coming weeks.

One area of concern, O\u2019Neil said, is with what he calls \u201cnonmachine readable ballots\u201d that have been duplicated.

He used the example of ballots that have been filled in for both candidates with a large marking crossing out one of the choices would be obvious to a human what the voter wanted, but a machine would simply register the ballot as a double vote and eliminate both choices.

He predicted there would be more legal challenges in the coming weeks as observers challenge some ballots during the recount.

\u201cThere is an element of subjectivity,\u201d O\u2019Neil said.

On Monday, an attorney for the McSally campaign failed to persuade a Pima County Superior Court judge to order a \u201csegregation\u201d of any provisional ballots missing a poll worker\u2019s signature.

A Barber campaign spokesperson said on Tuesday that the campaign was concerned about 782 ballots that had been rejected in Pima County.

But neither campaign has said definitively whether it will pursue those concerns in court.

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A judge has ruled against issuing a temporary restraining order sought by Martha McSally campaign's to stop the county from continuing to count provisional ballots in the Congressional District 2 race.

Eric Spencer, an attorney representing the McSally campaign and the Republican Party, sought a temporary restraining order at a hearing this morning in Pima County Superior Court against elections officials who have continued the ballot counting despite the campaign's objections.

Superior Court Judge James Marner said in his ruling that he saw no \"irreparable harm\" in letting the county to continue counting the provisional ballots.

McSally's campaign sought to have any provisional ballots submitted with a missing election official signature removed from the ongoing counting procedure and for them to be counted at a later date.

McSally campaign spokesperson Patrick Ptak said Pima County officials are not following all procedures laid out in the state's election manual regarding ballot counting.

\"With so much at stake for the people of Southern Arizona, we believe it's imperative that we take the time to get this right and not simply ignore rules in place to ensure every ballot is valid,\" said Ptak. \"The integrity of our elections process is critically important. That's why Arizona has checks in place to ensure the integrity of every ballot and we need to make sure those checks are being followed.\"

In his letter to county officials yesterday, Spencer demanded that the Recorder\u2019s Office \u201ccease transmitting any previously verified provisional ballots to the Elections Department, pending a review of the provisional ballot forms for missing election official signatures.\u201d

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez has refused, stating her office will continue to process the ballots so they can be counted by the County Elections Department as early as today.

Neither Spencer nor Rodriguez gave any indication of how many ballots could be involved.

Earlier today, Dan Barr, an attorney representing the Barber campaign, predicted any legal challenge to throw out provisional ballots would fail.

Barr also sometimes represents the Arizona Daily Star on First Amendment issues.

The McSally campaign unsuccessfully attempted to challenge 130 provisional ballots in Cochise County in 2012.

McSally currently has a 341 vote lead in the CD2 race.

The Pima County Elections Department is expected to start counting 9,335 provisional ballots today.

A total of 767 provisional ballots were invalidated for various reasons.

"}, {"id":"0e393421-4fa3-5e6b-ba10-f56036f97a58","type":"article","starttime":"1415594700","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-09T21:45:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1467307603","sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"McSally threatens suit over provisional ballot count","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_0e393421-4fa3-5e6b-ba10-f56036f97a58.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/mcsally-threatens-suit-over-provisional-ballot-count/article_0e393421-4fa3-5e6b-ba10-f56036f97a58.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/mcsally-threatens-suit-over-provisional-ballot-count/article_0e393421-4fa3-5e6b-ba10-f56036f97a58.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Joe Ferguson \nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"Possible legal challenge could throw out some provisional ballots.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["provisional ballot","congressional district 2","cd2","martha mcsally","ron barber","election","pima county"],"internalKeywords":["#top5","#latest","#toptwo","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f","description":"Republican Martha McSally holds a 341-vote lead in the race for the Congressional District 2 House seat. Ballot counting will continue through the weekend.","byline":"","hireswidth":1833,"hiresheight":1312,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0c/70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f/545c284838fad.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"443","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0c/70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f/545c28483bab8.image.jpg?resize=620%2C443"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0c/70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f/545c284854236.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"214","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0c/70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f/545c284854b6d.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"732","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/0c/70c85244-ac04-5b80-91ac-e6004533bc8f/545c28483bab8.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6","description":"Pima County voters have thus far favored Democratic incumbent Ron Barber, but his challenger holds a lead in Cochise County.","byline":"Photos by Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":3807,"hiresheight":2618,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/84/9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6/545c284870d8e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"426","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/84/9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6/545c2848724b6.image.jpg?resize=620%2C426"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/84/9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6/545c28488062f.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"206","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/84/9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6/545c284881935.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"704","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/84/9841f974-65e3-531a-adc0-5e721b2775b6/545c2848724b6.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":27,"commentID":"0e393421-4fa3-5e6b-ba10-f56036f97a58","body":"

The Martha McSally campaign is threatening legal action to throw out some provisional ballots that lack a signature from an election official.

The legal saber rattling came shortly before new vote totals were announced showing the retired Air Force colonel\u2019s lead over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber in Arizona Congressional District 2 had again shrunk, with McSally now ahead by 341 votes.

Eric Spencer, an attorney representing the McSally campaign and the Republican Party, wants the Pima County Recorder\u2019s Office to stop counting any provisional ballot that lacks a signature from an election official.

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez has refused, stating her office will continue to process the ballots so they can be counted by the County Elections Department as early as today.

In his letter to county officials, Spencer demanded that the Recorder\u2019s Office \u201ccease transmitting any previously verified provisional ballots to the Elections Department, pending a review of the provisional ballot forms for missing election official signatures.\u201d

Spencer cited the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Election Procedures Manual, which he said specifies the election official must sign the provisional ballot form when a voter turns in a sealed envelope.

He said the campaign is formally challenging the validity of all provisional ballots submitted with a missing election official signature. Neither Spencer nor Rodriguez gave any indication of how many ballots could be involved. Chief Deputy Recorder Chris Roads said processing the provisional ballots has no bearing on the possible legal challenge.

\u201cWhether or not the poll worker signed the provisional is clearly identifiable from a simple examination of the provisional ballot form whether or not the provisional is processed by the Recorder\u2019s Office,\u201d he wrote. \u201cThe fact that we processed the provisional form will not impact your ability to proceed with your challenge.\u201d

Dan Barr, an attorney representing the Barber campaign, predicted any legal challenge to throw out provisional ballots would fail. Barr also sometimes represents the Arizona Daily Star on First Amendment issues.

He said the intent of the voter is clear in this example, saying a sealed, signed envelope that matches the signature on file with the Recorder\u2019s Office should be counted.

Barr noted that the McSally campaign unsuccessfully attempted to challenge 130 provisional ballots in Cochise County in 2012.

The legal threat made by the McSally campaign, he said, was selfish, as it could exclude votes cast in other Pima County elections, from school boards to propositions, not just those cast for the Congressional District 2 race.

Neither Spencer nor a representative for the McSally campaign could be reached for comment Sunday night.

McSally\u2019s campaign, in a post on Facebook on the day after Election Day, had urged supporters to be patient.

\u201cRight now there are still many ballots to be counted, and the race is too close to be called. It\u2019s critical that every last vote is counted and that all Arizonans have their voices heard,\u201d she wrote.

A spokeswoman for the Barber campaign, Ashley Nash-Hahn, said she was not surprised by the attempt to exclude voters.

\u201cMartha McSally will do anything to stop Southern Arizonans from making their voice heard at the ballot box,\u201d Nash-Hahn said. \u201cWe\u2019ve seen her tricks before, when she tried to throw out votes in Cochise County, and we aren\u2019t surprised to see her desperate moves to silence the voters of Southern Arizona.\u201d

Although the Elections Department announced on Saturday that no additional vote totals were expected until today, a surprise announcement was sent out Sunday afternoon that an additional batch of 3,355 early ballots had been counted.

Tabulation of those provisional ballots closed the gap between Barber and McSally to 341 votes, down from a 509-vote margin when the count ended Friday night.

The email announcement attributed the earlier-than-expected update to the county being farther along than anticipated and gave no further explanation.

The Pima County Elections Department is expected to start counting 9,335 provisional ballots today. A total of 767 provisional ballots were invalidated for various reasons.

"}, {"id":"f7a89fb4-8a75-57ca-9af1-0893173cf47b","type":"article","starttime":"1415491800","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-08T17:10:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443561078","sections":[{"editorial":"news/opinion/editorial"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"To Gov.-elect: Focus on economy, not social issues","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_f7a89fb4-8a75-57ca-9af1-0893173cf47b.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/editorial/to-gov--elect-focus-on-economy-not-social-issues/article_f7a89fb4-8a75-57ca-9af1-0893173cf47b.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/editorial/to-gov--elect-focus-on-economy-not-social-issues/article_f7a89fb4-8a75-57ca-9af1-0893173cf47b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"New governor must reach out to Tucson.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["doug ducey","politics","republican","governor"],"internalKeywords":["#editorial","#elections","#arizona"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":9,"commentID":"f7a89fb4-8a75-57ca-9af1-0893173cf47b","body":"

Arizona\u2019s political landscape remains unchanged by the Republican victories in the Tuesday election. The statewide offices and legislative majority will remain in GOP control.

Even so, with a new governor and new legislative session beginning in January, Arizona has the opportunity for a restart. Gov.-elect Doug Ducey must seize this moment to set the tone and make the economy the shared priority.

Instead of limiting the view of boosting the economy to cutting taxes, Ducey and lawmakers should take a broad but targeted view that includes public education, child safety and transportation. Economic development requires a long view and investment, not simple short-term gains.

Keeping the focus on the economy would help keep Arizona from getting off track into unnecessary and divisive social legislation that damages our state \u2014 for example, any effort to rehash SB 1062, which would have made it legal for businesses to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender customers.

Lawmakers passed the bill last spring, and while Gov. Jan Brewer eventually vetoed it, the damage to Arizona\u2019s national reputation was done. Businesses reported fallout from the controversy as out-of-state groups canceled their conferences or decided to forgo Arizona \u2014 and all for an unnecessary piece of legislation.

The same tenet applies to any effort to reinstate a ban on same-sex marriage and attempts to further inject the state into women\u2019s reproductive health-care decisions. Ducey made selling Arizona to a national business audience a cornerstone of his campaign. Spending time pushing a conservative social agenda would take energy away from the economy and make his job harder.

In his acceptance speech Ducey called out \u201creckless spending,\u201d but didn\u2019t give examples. We followed up with his campaign, and his spokeswoman sent a statement saying, \u201cDucey has said that he refuses to further cut education but will look for opportunities to reform spending wherever possible.\u201d She added, \u201cReckless spending, or committing dollars the state does not have, would be an irresponsible way to govern given the fiscal realities facing the state.\u201d

We hope he\u2019ll abandon his support of an appeal of a recent court ruling that requires the state to pay public schools $317 million they should have been paid, but weren\u2019t. This shouldn\u2019t fall under \u201creckless spending.\u201d

The pledge to not cut education further is something Arizona voters must hold him to.

Ducey won the governor\u2019s race in an election where, statewide, only 42 percent of 3.2 million registered voters bothered to cast a ballot. Pima County fared a bit better with 49-percent turnout.

That means his win with 53 percent of the ballots cast represented about 22 percent of all registered Arizona voters. Many more didn\u2019t bother to register.

A majority of a low-turnout election is not a mandate for sweeping change.

Ducey touted his coalition of supporters during the campaign, and we call on him to put that into action and demonstrate an active interest in Southern Arizona and Pima County, which went for Democrat Fred DuVal in the governor\u2019s race.

For Arizona to succeed as a state, Ducey must make a concerted effort to include the entire state in his priorities, consultations and administration.

And we encourage Tucson-area organizations to invite Ducey to our part of the state to listen and learn about what we\u2019re doing and what we need.

The midterm election did not bring sweeping change to Arizona, but it did usher in some new players, and that offers an opportunity to create new working relationships and keep the economy front and center.

"}, {"id":"79ae3339-bbf1-5c5e-8db5-8db1ac4202c2","type":"article","starttime":"1415430000","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-08T00:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443561078","priority":49,"sections":[{"govt-and-politics":"news/local/govt-and-politics"},{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Proof-of-citizenship rule for voters is voided","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_79ae3339-bbf1-5c5e-8db5-8db1ac4202c2.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/proof-of-citizenship-rule-for-voters-is-voided/article_79ae3339-bbf1-5c5e-8db5-8db1ac4202c2.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/proof-of-citizenship-rule-for-voters-is-voided/article_79ae3339-bbf1-5c5e-8db5-8db1ac4202c2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"Court of Appeals rejects state bid to require proof of citizenship for voter registration.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["voter registration","proof of citizenship","arizona"],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#photoside","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":13,"commentID":"79ae3339-bbf1-5c5e-8db5-8db1ac4202c2","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 Arizona cannot require people to produce proof of citizenship before they register to vote, at least not for federal elections, a federal appellate court ruled Friday.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said neither Arizona nor Kansas can demand the federal Election Assistance Commission add a proof-of-citizenship requirement to the federal registration form the panel designed.

Justice Carlos Lucero, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, said Alice Miller, the commission\u2019s acting director, was within her rights to reject the request by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Kris Kobach, his Kansas counterpart.

Lucero said the evidence shows there are other viable \u2014 and less burdensome \u2014 ways for states to ensure people who are not citizens do not vote. He also said there was no \u201csubstantial evidence\u201d that those in the country illegally were using the federal form to register or vote.

Friday\u2019s ruling is a major setback for Arizona, which has been trying for years to enforce a 2004 voter-approved measure mandating such proof.

How many people might be affected, though, remains unclear.

In Maricopa County alone, about 33,000 people signed up to vote using the federal form out of close to 2 million registered voters.

Karen Osborne, the county\u2019s election director, said she managed to subsequently get citizenship proof from all but about 300 of them, so they could vote both on federal and state races. The remaining approximately 300, put in a separate category of what became a \u201cdual-track\u201d voting system, could vote only for candidates for federal offices.

If Friday\u2019s ruling is not overturned, voter registration groups are far more likely to sign people up with the federal form simply because they do not have to also submit that citizenship proof, even if that means they can vote only for president and members of Congress.

The implications, though, may be broader.

\u201cThe fact that we\u2019ve won this now gives more solid ground to challenge this two classes of voters in Arizona,\u201d said Sam Wercinski, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network, with one group that can vote in all races and the other limited to federal elections.

Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters, agreed it is questionable whether a dual-track system can survive a constitutional challenge.

Legal issues aside, she said voters may simply decide the costs of running two election systems \u2014 perhaps $200,000 in Arizona for what turned out to be 21 voters \u2014 isn\u2019t worth it, given the lack of evidence illegal immigrants are trying to vote.

And if the dual-track system is voided, whether for legal or political reasons, anyone who registers with a federal form, with or without proof of citizenship, could vote for any candidate for any office.

Bennett said the case will be appealed.

The 2004 Proposition 200, part of a broader effort aimed at those not in the country legally, requires both proof of citizenship to register and identification when casting a ballot. Proponents said it would ensure election results are not affected by those voting illegally.

Legal efforts to kill the ID provision failed. And Arizona has been entitled since the 2004 vote to requirement documented proof of citizenship for those who use state-designed forms to register.

The legal fight stems from the fact that Congress, in approving the National Voting Registration Act, directed the Election Assistance Commission to design a single national voter-registration form to simplify the process. That form requires no proof of citizenship but only that those signing up swear, under penalty of perjury, they are eligible to vote.

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Arizona\u2019s attempt to enforce the proof-of-citizenship requirement on those using the federal form, but referred the states to the commission to request a change in the form, which was rejected.

\u201cThere are at least five alternate means available to the states to enforce their laws,\u201d Lucero wrote in Friday\u2019s ruling.

That list starts with the fact that it is a crime to illegally register to vote, and noncitizens who vote can be deported. Other options include:

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In the close race for two District 9 House seats, Democratic challenger Randy Friese has once again taken the lead over Republican incumbent Ethan Orr after about 16,000 additional ballots were counted in Pima County.

Friese and Orr have see-sawed positions several times over the days of vote tabulations, as the two jockey to claim the second of the districts two seats in the House.

Democratic incumbent\u00a0Victoria Steele\u00a0remained the leading vote-getter in the the three-way race for two seats.

The most recent approximately 200-vote margin between Friese and Orr seems sizable, compared to the slim lead of fewer than a dozen votes Orr had after Wednesday\u2019s count.

Friese said in an interview on Wednesday that while he is optimistic about his chances, he is \u201cwaiting for the electoral process to continue and the votes to be counted and recorded.\u201d

His opponent, Orr, said he would work on the community\u2019s issues whether he wins or loses in the race.

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PHOENIX \u2014 Hundreds of thousands of outstanding ballots have left the results of several statewide races up in the air.

In the fight for secretary of state, Democrat Terry Goddard was trailing Republican Michele Reagan by about 57,000 votes Wednesday night.

While some news media outlets have projected Reagan the winner, with so many outstanding ballots, Goddard has thus far declined to concede the election.

In a somewhat closer race, Republican Diane Douglas maintained approximately a 28,000-vote lead over Democrat David Garcia for superintendent of public instruction.

And Proposition 122, to allow lawmakers or voters to refuse to use state or local dollars to fund what they consider unconstitutional federal mandates or laws, was leading by fewer than 32,000 votes.

But the Secretary of State\u2019s Office said late Wednesday there were still almost 257,000 early ballots to be counted. Before that can happen, they first have to be verified, making sure the signatures on the envelopes match what is on file in each county\u2019s election rolls.

The vast majority, about 170,000, are in Maricopa County, with close to 37,000 in Pima and 25,000 in Pinal.

On top of that are more than 63,000 \u201cprovisional\u201d ballots from people allowed to vote but where questions remain about whether they are registered, whether they also sent in an early ballot, or simply did not bring proper identification to the polls.

About 40,000 of those are from Maricopa County, with another 10,000 pending in Pima County and almost 3,000 in Pinal County.

Other counties reported smaller numbers of uncounted votes.

For Cochise, the figure for both early and provisional ballots was about 3,200.

"}, {"id":"1c6e498a-89a2-54ea-8234-f4f050fecc45","type":"article","starttime":"1415257200","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-06T00:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1443561163","priority":43,"sections":[{"elections":"news/local/govt-and-politics/elections"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"House picks first Southern Arizona speaker since 1986","url":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/article_1c6e498a-89a2-54ea-8234-f4f050fecc45.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/house-picks-first-southern-arizona-speaker-since/article_1c6e498a-89a2-54ea-8234-f4f050fecc45.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/elections/house-picks-first-southern-arizona-speaker-since/article_1c6e498a-89a2-54ea-8234-f4f050fecc45.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Howard Fischer\nCapitol Media Services","prologue":"David Gowan has two more votes than predecessor Andy Tobin.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["arizona","legislature","david gowan","andy tobin","gail griffin","republican"],"internalKeywords":["#topread","#latest","#toptwo","#elections"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283","description":"Rep. David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, speaks with reporters after being elected as the new Arizona House speaker.","byline":"Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press","hireswidth":2900,"hiresheight":1831,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/06/2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283/545ad2546e20d.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"391","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/06/2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283/57ae5be50ab3f.image.jpg?resize=620%2C391"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"63","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/06/2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283/545ad2547ceba.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"189","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/06/2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283/545ad2547df00.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/06/2066abba-2abd-5555-8344-e26d130a9283/57ae5be50ab3f.image.jpg?crop=620%2C348%2C0%2C0"}}}],"revision":13,"commentID":"1c6e498a-89a2-54ea-8234-f4f050fecc45","body":"

PHOENIX \u2014 A Sierra Vista Republican will become the first House speaker from Southern Arizona in a quarter-century.

David Gowan will take over what could be a 38-member GOP caucus \u2014 depending on the outcome of two outstanding races \u2014 giving him two more votes than predecessor Andy Tobin to push through legislation.

He also has the backing of two fiscal conservatives, Steve Montenegro of Litchfield Park and David Livingston of Peoria, whom the returning and newly elected lawmakers chose as majority leader and majority whip.

The last House speaker from Southern Arizona was Joe Lane, chosen for that position by his Republican colleagues in 1986.

Even with new leadership in all three slots in the House, the bigger political shift could actually be across the courtyard in the Senate.

Andy Biggs of Gilbert returns as Senate president. But Steve Yarbrough of Chandler replaces John McComish, who did not seek re-election, as majority leader. And the whip position moves from Adam Driggs to Gail Griffin of Hereford.

Both Yarbrough and Griffin are more conservative voices than McComish and Driggs, both of whom united with Democrats to support Medicaid expansion over the objections of the majority of most of the Republicans.

The legality of that vote is set for debate today in front of the Arizona Supreme Court.

The most immediate problem facing the new Legislature is the state budget.

Arizona already is looking at a deficit of close to $500 million for the current fiscal year. And about $336 million of that is due to a court order to immediately increase funding for K-12 education to finally comply with a voter-mandated law to make annual inflation adjustments.

And the forecast for the coming budget year is for a $1 billion gap between revenues and expenses in what is currently a $9.3 billion spending plan.

Gowan offered no immediate solutions.

\u201cI\u2019m going to put my team together and we\u2019re going to put all that in front of us, and we\u2019re going to look at the vision,\u201d he said.

Gowan said that also means meeting with Senate leadership as well as Doug Ducey, elected new governor on Tuesday, \u201cand we\u2019ll start plotting and planning.\u201d

Higher taxes are not an option, with Ducey vowing opposition to that in his victory speech Tuesday night. He also took off the table a tool used by lawmakers to balance budgets in prior years: borrowing money.

That $9.3 billion current state budget compares with close to $10.4 billion seven years ago. And some of the spending, on things like basic state aid to education and Medicaid, were mandated by voters and cannot be trimmed by lawmakers.

\u201cThere\u2019s not a lot left,\u201d Livingston acknowledged. But he insisted there are savings to be had, saying the budget just two years ago was $8.6 billion.

\u201cWe have to go to the department chairmen and the people Ducey puts in to run those departments and say, \u2018Where is the fat? Where can we make cuts without hurting the citizens of Arizona?\u2019\u201d he said. \u201cThat\u2019s the goal.\u201d

Biggs agreed that \u201cit wasn\u2019t the wisest thing\u201d for the state to increase spending in the past couple of years as the economy appeared to be on the mend.

\u201cWe probably began spending again too much, too soon,\u201d he said. \u201cAnd so what we need to do now is really take full stock of long-term institutional and substantive corrections.\u201d

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Uncounted votes may shift the tide in a number of races in legislative districts and other election contests that remain too close to call.

While vote tabulation is ongoing, as of Wednesday evening Republican incumbent in House District 9, Rep. Ethan Orr and Democratic challenger Randy Friese were virtually tied. Orr had a negligible lead of eight votes.

Democrat incumbent Victoria Steele is the leader in the three-way race for two House seats, about 250 votes ahead of Orr and Friese.

Orr, who at one point was losing to Friese by about 3,000 votes, shot back up and surpassed Friese on Wednesday, after what he said was a long \u201cbuck up\u201d call from Gov. Jan Brewer.

In Pima County, there are tens of thousands of ballots yet to be counted, but it is unknown how many are in any of the various districts.

No matter the outcome, Orr said he\u2019s preparing his legislative agenda.

\u201cWhether I win or lose, I\u2019ll continue to work on them,\u201d he said. \u201cMy perspective is \u2014 I\u2019m a community guy. I\u2019m from Tucson.\u201d

Friese said he is optimistic that he still has a \u201cgood chance of getting the lead back\u201d as the electoral process continues.

House District 2

Democratic state Rep. Demion Clinco is out.

Rosana Gabald\u00f3n, a former Sahuarita Town Council member who was first elected to the House in 2012, retained her seat. Her new seatmate will be Republican challenger Chris Ackerley. Although he held a consistent lead through out the vote-counting process, Ackerley was cautious about claiming victory, saying \u201cnothing is final until the secretary of the state certifies.\u201d

District 10 House

Incumbent Democrat Bruce Wheeler was re-elected to another term. Fellow Democrat Stefanie Mach is clinging to a narrow lead in her bid to return for a second term. As of Wednesday night she led Republican challenger Todd Clodfelter, by about 500 votes. Republican Bill Wildish finished a distant fourth.

District 4

With only hundreds of votes between candidates, both the House and Senate races have been too close to call in the district that covers Ajo, Sells, Gila Bend, Midvale Park and Three Points, stretching to Yuma.

Yuma County still has about 6,000 provisional and \u201clate early\u201d ballots yet to be counted.

Democrat Lisa Otondo leads the race to keep her House seat in the three-way race for two seats, with runner-up Richard Hopkins holds a 500-vote lead on Democrat Charlene Fernandez for the second seat.

In the Senate, Democratic incumbent Lynne Pancrazi has a narrow lead over Republican Connie Uribe, a retired surgeon.

Senate District 8

The race for an open District 8 Senate seat was too close to call Wednesday, with Democratic incumbent Barbara McGuire holding a slim lead over Republican challenger Irene Littleton.

TUSD

Incumbents Adelita Grijalva and Michael Hicks appear to have held on to their TUSD Governing Board seats, holding off a field of seven challengers seeking to displace them.

Grijalva had an early lead and was declared a winner Tuesday night.

Hicks was holding steady in second in the nine-way race for two seats. When the latest results were posted Wednesday night, he had a comfortable, but not insurmountable, 1,000-vote lead on public education advocate Jen Darland.

None of the other challengers were within 7,000 votes of the top three.

Pima College

District 1 voters chose a former high school counselor to represent them on the board that governs Pima Community College.

Mark Hanna, a PCC alumnus who recently retired from Catalina Magnet High School, won the PCC board seat by a slim margin over Tucson Medical Center executive Michael Duran.

Duran conceded the race, trailing Hanna by 1,055 votes once results from all 58 precincts were in. The District 1 seat was the only one up for grabs under the board\u2019s staggered term system.

Hanna replaces incumbent Brenda Even, who has held the seat since 2001 and didn\u2019t run for reelection.

Water Board

Sharon Megdal, Pat Jacobs, Warren Tenney and Karen Novak Cesare have secured Pima County\u2019s four seats on the Central Arizona Water Board.

Megdal was the leading vote getter at 22 percent. The other three apparent winners were clustered around 20 percent. The fifth candidate, Wesley Mehl, trailed with just over 16 percent.

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The separation between Martha McSally and Ron Barber continues to grow as the number of uncounted ballots dwindles.

The retired Air Force colonel had a nearly 1,300-vote lead in the Congressional District 2 race over incumbent Barber when county and state election officials stopped counting for the night on Wednesday \u2014 up from the 36-vote lead McSally had early that morning.

But despite McSally\u2019s growing advantage, the race remains too close to call, particularly because most of the uncounted ballots \u2014 more than 34,000 \u2014 are from Pima County, an area where Barber ran stronger.

McSally\u2019s surge is attributable mainly to updated totals from Cochise County, which again experienced a computer glitch that delayed its tabulation. The county encountered a similar problem in the August primary election.

At one point on Wednesday afternoon, when the 21,500 Cochise County votes came in, McSally was ahead by more than 2,000 votes.

Additional returns from 12,700 early ballots from Pima County reported later in the day decreased McSally\u2019s lead to 1,293.

This leaves about 37,300 ballots left to be counted in the district.

Both campaigns urged supporters to be patient while all the ballots were counted.

Jim Vlahovich, the interim director for Cochise County Elections, said county officials decided take the ballots to neighboring Graham County after a hand count of ballots did not match a tally from a vote tabulation machine.

Confident of the figures after a recount using Graham County Election Department equipment, results from Cochise County were posted Wednesday afternoon.

Roughly 3,200 ballots, a mix of provisional and early ballots, will be counted in Cochise County during the next few days, Vlahovich said.

In the August primary election, the county sent incorrect voter data to state election officials and was forced to take a helicopter to Graham County to have the memory cards from election machines retabulated.

This time, Cochise County officials drove to Graham County.

In Pima County, there are more than 34,000 ballots to be counted, the Arizona Secretary of State\u2019s Office reported.

It could take several days before all the results are known, officials from both Pima and Cochise counties said.

"}, {"id":"64306e69-4325-57b5-8243-e2c80baee460","type":"article","starttime":"1415239200","starttime_iso8601":"2014-11-05T19:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1492721367","priority":45,"sections":[{"column":"news/opinion/column"},{"gassen":"news/opinion/column/gassen"},{"columnists":"news/opinion/columnists"},{"gassen":"news/opinion/columnists/gassen"}],"flags":{"web_only":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Garrecht Gassen: Nothing in politics is forever","url":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/article_64306e69-4325-57b5-8243-e2c80baee460.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/garrecht-gassen-nothing-in-politics-is-forever/article_64306e69-4325-57b5-8243-e2c80baee460.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/garrecht-gassen-nothing-in-politics-is-forever/article_64306e69-4325-57b5-8243-e2c80baee460.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Sarah Garrecht Gassen\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"If you want change, you must find ways to work for it.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["diane douglas","gop","republicans","arizona politics","election 2014"],"internalKeywords":["#columnist","#columnists","#gassen","#local column","#localcolumn","#photoside","#elections","#education"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32","description":"","byline":"Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":2400,"hiresheight":1600,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/58e1bd47d5e96.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"413","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5733bb60f1eb9.image.jpg?resize=620%2C413"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5407ce6c40533.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/5407ce6c41878.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/d9/cd99ecfa-2f11-54ea-9495-7f42c39edb32/53ff79ac9aae6.preview-1024.jpg"}}}],"revision":17,"commentID":"64306e69-4325-57b5-8243-e2c80baee460","body":"

If there\u2019s ever a question that voters put party over qualification, untrue sound bites over facts or that hiding is a great campaign tactic, one need only point to a single race in the 2014 Arizona election:

Superintendent for public instruction.

Diane Douglas, a tea-party Republican whose entire platform consisted of parroting \u201cCommon Core\u201d and \u201cfederal mandate,\u201d and who refused a mountain of invitations to public debates, appears to have defeated David Garcia, a man who is unquestionably qualified to run a large state agency like the Department of Public Instruction.

Garcia has ideas, information, plans, critical analysis about the beleaguered state of public education in Arizona and practical strategies to improve schools. He knows what he\u2019s talking about, and it looks like that was his downfall. It\u2019s hard to fight the simple ideological appeal of fighting President Obama with information.

Douglas, assuming she maintains her lead, is in for a surprise. There is more to being the superintendent of public instruction than Common Core. There\u2019s no federal control cord in the office that she can unplug or Obama-Be-Gone magic wand she can wave. And let\u2019s not get started on the millions in funding tied to the federal standards that, for the record, do not tell schools how or what to teach. Real life will collide with ideology soon enough.

The Department of Education also oversees educator certifications, Title 1 programs, special education, free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs, standardized testing, English Language Learners, complicated school funding formulas, career and technical education, state standards (Arizona\u2019s version of Common Core), other assessments, and the list goes on.

But enough about her. Even if Garcia pulls it out, Douglas\u2019 performance tells us that the road to change is steeper than many Arizonans, particularly in Pima County, thought.

So, the status quo won on Tuesday. And Arizona will face the same challenges as always \u2014 the anemic schools funding and achievement that repels employers, the deteriorating infrastructure, the low-wage economy \u2014 with the same response. Instead of investing in all Arizonans, lawmakers will favor tax loopholes that benefit the few and a narrow conservative social agenda that business leaders have said hurts the state.

But enough about that. We know how this will turn out, because we\u2019ve been living it. We\u2019ve seen the evidence that these policies don\u2019t work for the middle class and poor Arizonans \u2014 and that didn\u2019t matter to thousands on Tuesday.

But to thousands of other Arizonans, it did. Facts mattered. Solutions mattered. Protecting the vulnerable mattered. Looking forward to how we can work together mattered.

There just weren\u2019t enough of us to turn the page for Arizona \u2014 this time.

So, we\u2019re in for another rough stretch where civil rights will remain under attack, where protesting President Obama will continue to be a legislative sport, where education funding will still be seen as a burden to escape, not an investment to make, and where magical economic trickle-down thinking will continue to hold sway.

But people who hold different views, the thousands and thousands of Arizonans who did vote for change and progress, don\u2019t get to accept defeat. Inertia in support of the powerful was effective this time \u2014 but the Republicans\u2019 true victory would be convincing those in opposition to give up.

So remember the beauty of the American system is that nothing is forever.

And that if you want change, you must find new ways to work for it.

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Technical problems with voting machines in Cochise County have delayed results in the region\u2019s most-watched race, but it could bode well for GOP challenger Martha McSally.

She and Democrat Ron Barber, the incumbent, were separated by only 36 votes, according to the latest totals this afternoon.

However, Cochise County tallies are missing and McSally was expected to have another strong showing in the county she won in 2012 by 59 percent to 41 percent.

Only 2,454 votes separated the pair in the final 2012 election tally. That was less than 1 percent of the votes cast that year.

Cochise County election officials posted a notice on its website saying they expected to have ballots counted by the end of the day.

It is the second time this election cycle that Cochise County has reported major problems counting votes.

\u201cDue to technical difficulties the early ballot counting machine did not match the hand count. Therefore, early ballots are in the process of being delivered to Graham County where they will be counted by their equipment,\u201d reads a message on the Cochise County elections page.

In the August primary election, the county sent incorrect voter data to state election officials.

Just like Tuesday's election, memory cards had to be flown by helicopter to neighboring Graham County to be counted.

McSally told supporters it's too early to predict the outcome of the race.

\"Right now, there are still many ballots to be counted and the race is too close to be called,\u201d McSally wrote on her Facebook page. \"It's critical that every last vote is counted and that all Arizonans have their voices heard.\"

The Barber campaign issued a statement of confidence in the outcome.

\u201cThis isn\u2019t our first rodeo. Two years ago, we woke up the day after the election with a significant vote deficit, but when the last early ballots were counted, Ron triumphed,\u201d Ashley Nash-Hahn, a spokeswoman wrote Wednesday in a news release.

\"Vote counts will go up and down as the remaining early and provisional ballots are counted, but in the end, when the votes are counted, we\u2019re fully confident that we will continue to win the early ballots, and Ron Barber will win another term in Congress.\"

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A combination of closely contested races and the mass migration of voters to early voting means several high-profile races couldn't be called last night.

In Pima County alone, election officials estimate more than 25,000 ballots remained to be counted late Tuesday night. Those include ballots that were mailed at the last minute, were dropped off at polling places Tuesday and provisional ballots.

The Pima County recorder will start verifying the signatures and registration status of those ballots beginning at 7 a.m. today. It typically takes several days.

Statewide, the number of uncounted ballots is well into six figures, making it impossible to call some close races Tuesday night.

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Proposition 415, the bond proposal to use $22 million to build a new county animal shelter in the shadow of the old one, easily passed by double digits on Tuesday.

The bond passed with a margin of roughly 59 percent to 41 percent. Backers of the proposition said the overwhelming margin showed support for the county\u2019s efforts to save as many pets as it can.

\u201cThe community has chosen to extend their hearts to lost and homeless pets,\u201d said Vince Rabago, the co-chair of the Pets Are Worth Saving-Proposition 415 Campaign.

The building that the Pima Animal Care Center is currently housed in was built in 1968, when Pima County had 300,000 people and pets were held there on a temporary basis in accordance with animal-care standards at the time.

The facility was built primarily to hold stray animals for no more than several days. If animals were not claimed by an owner after the time had passed, they were euthanized in an attempt to control rabies.

The population of Pima County is currently almost 1 million people. The growing number of people and pets in Pima County, in addition to the shelter\u2019s move toward a no-kill approach, has led to issues with overcrowding and rampant spread of disease within the shelter.

According to Karen Hollish, PACC\u2019s development director, the humane capacity for shelter pets is 500, and the shelter houses as many as 1,000 animals at any given time.

Last summer the county installed an air-conditioned tent on the grounds of the shelter to temporarily house the overflow of animals. In the 2014 fiscal year, PACC took in about 24,000 animals.

Pets are now being held longer as the shelter tries to reduce the number of pets being euthanized and increase the number of adoptions and live releases taking place.

The proposed new building will be larger and built to comply with current standards for animal care. It will have separate areas for adoption and the intake of new animals, in addition to other improvements that will reduce stress on the animals.

Opponents of the bond measure have stated their concerns about the cost of the shelter and the county\u2019s past misuse of bond funds as reasons to vote no.

Ann Holden, an opponent of Prop. 415, said she voted no because Pima County has a history of mismanaging bond money and she considers the cost of the shelter reconstruction excessive.

Mark Spear, another detractor, also listed those reasons for why he voted no.\ufeff

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* Denotes incumbent

(Results as of 11 p.m.)

Governor

Doug Ducey (R) 54%

Fred DuVal (D) 41%

Barry Hess (L) 4%

John Mealer (AE) 1%

Congressional District 1

Ann Kirkpatrick* (D) 53%

Andy Tobin (R) 47%

Congressional District 2

Ron Barber* (D) 50%

Martha McSally (R) 49%

Congressional District 3

Ra\u00fal Grijalva* (D) 55%

Gabby Saucedo Mercer (R) 45%

Secretary of State

Terry Goddard (D) 48%

Michele Reagan (R) 52%

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich (R) 53%

Felecia Rotellini (D) 47%

Treasurer

Jeff Dewit (R) 99%

School Superintendent

Diane Douglas (R) 51%

David Garcia (D) 49%

Mine Inspector

Joe Hart* (R) 99%

Corporation Commission (2 seats)

Tom Forese (R) 29%

Doug Little (R) 29%

Jim Holway (D) 21%

Sandra Kennedy (D) 22%

State Senate District 2

Andrea Dalessandro* (D) 57%

Daniel Estrella (R) 43%

State House District 2 (2 seats)

John C. Ackerley (R) 32%

Demion Clinco* (D) 31%

Rosanna Gabald\u00f3n* (D) 38%

State Senate District 3

Olivia Cajero Bedford* (D) 97%

State House District 3 (2 seats)

Sally Ann Gonzales* (D) 52%

Macario Saldate* (D) 46%

State Senate District 4

Lynne Pancrazi* (D) 51%

Connie Uribe (R) 49%

State House District 4 (2 seats)

Charlene Fernandez (D) 31%

Richard Hopkins (R) 34%

Lisa Otondo* (D) 35%

State Senate District 8

Irene Littleton (R) 48%

Barbara McGuire* (D) 52%

State House District 8 (2 seats)

Carmen Casillas (D) 29%

Frank Pratt* (R) 36%

T.J. Shope* (R) 35%

State Senate District 9

Steve Farley* (D) 97%

State House District 9 (2 seats)

Randy Friese (D) 34%

Ethan Orr* (R) 31%

Victoria Steele* (D) 34%

State Senate District 10

David Bradley* (D) 54%

Mark Morrison (R) 46%

State House District 10 (2 seats)

Todd Clodfelter (R) 24%

Stefanie Mach*(D) 27%

Bruce Wheeler* (D) 28%

William Wildish (R) 21%

State Senate District 11

Jo Holt (D) 43%

Steve Smith (R) 57%

State House District 11 (2 seats)

Mark Finchem (R) 37%

Vince Leach (R) 34%

Holly Lyon (D) 29%

State Senate District 14

Gail Griffin (R) 98%

State House District 14 (2 seats)

James Burton (D) 22%

David Gowan* (R) 39%

David Stevens* (R) 39%

Pima Community College Dst. 1

Mark Hanna 50.3%

Michael Duran 49.1%

Amphitheater Unified School District Board (2 seats)

Jo Grant* 40%

Scott Leska 31%

Mick Stewart 29%

Sahuarita Unified School District Board (2 seats)

David Eves* 21%

Tom Murphy* 32%

John Sparks 24%

Noah Sundberg 22%

Sunnyside Unified School District Board (2 seats)

Eva Carrillo Dong* 30%

Daniel Hernandez* 44%

Malcom Pavey 26%

Tucson Unified School District Board (2 seats)

Ren\u00e9 Bernal 9%

Debe Campos-Fleenor 10%

Don Cotton 11%

Miguel Cuevas 6%

Jen Darland 16%

Adelita Grijalva* 20%

Michael Hicks* 17%

Betts Putnam-Hidalgo 9%

Francis Saitta 2%

Vail Unified School Board (2 seats)

Jon Aitken 31%

Claudia Anderson* 40%

Anthony Sizer 29%

Cent. Arizona Water Board (4 seats)

Karen Cesare 21%

Pat Jacobs* 20%

Sharon Megdal* 23%

Wesley Mehl 16%

Warren Tenney* 20%

Metro Water Board (3 seats)

Donovan Hemway 13%

Helen Ireland 25%

James Doyle* 23%

Judy Scrivener* 23%

Danny Sargent 16%

Corona De Tucson Fire District Board (3 seats)

Ellie Abraham 23%

Edward Buster 18%

Steven Lunde 27%

Nathan Weber 30%

Picture Rocks Fire District Board (2 seats)

David Putnam* 49%

Sandra Watson 50%

Prop 122 \u2014 Rejection Of Unconstitutional Federal Actions

Yes 51%

No 49%

Prop 303 \u2014 Use Of Investigational Drugs, Biological Products

Yes 78%

No 22%

Prop 304 \u2014 Legislators\u2019 Pay increase

Yes 32%

No 68%

Prop 415 \u2014 Pima ANIMAL CARE center

Yes 59%

No 41%

Prop 416 \u2014 Ajo Unified School District override

Yes 42%

No 58%

Prop 417 \u2014 Marana Unified School District bond

Yes 59%

No 41%

Prop 418 \u2014 Amphitheater Unified School District override

Yes 58%

No 42%

Prop 419 \u2014 Tanque Verde Unified School District override

Yes 59%

No 41%

Prop 420 \u2014 Tucson Unified School District property

Yes 68%

No 32%

Prop 421 \u2014 Sahuarita Unified School District override

Yes 48%

No 52%

Prop 422 \u2014 Sahuarita Unified Additional override

Yes 46%

No 54%

Prop 424 \u2014 Vail Unified School District bonds

Yes 61%

No 39%

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Democrat Ra\u00fal Grijalva has won a seventh term representing Southern Arizona in Congress.

He defeated Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer for a second time.

District 3 includes parts of Pima, Maricopa, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. Grijalva had significant leads in all but Maricopa County Tuesday night, with all but 40 precincts and some late mail ballots to be counted.

\u201cI\u2019m very gratified,\u201d Grijalva said at a celebration at his campaign headquarters Tuesday night. \u201cIt\u2019s not a routine for me. This is a two-year employment contract with the voters, and you\u2019ve got to work at it every year.\u201d

Grijalva will return to a changed landscape in which he\u2019s a member of a smaller minority party in the House and Senate.

\u201cWhile it\u2019s devastating to some extent, it could really be liberating for Democrats,\u201d Grijalva said, because Republicans won\u2019t be able to blame the president for inaction.

Grijalva said he would continue to focus on immigration, the environment and the budget.

Saucedo Mercer ran a grass-roots campaign, having raised about $80,000 this election cycle. Her strategy included significant time campaigning in Maricopa County, and she won in that county.

She criticized Grijalva for supporting abortion rights. Saucedo Mercer is opposed to abortion.

Grijalva raised about $550,000. He didn\u2019t attack his opponent and ran a race that focused on getting out the vote, he said. And unlike other congressional races in Southern Arizona, this race did not attract money from outside groups.

By 10 p.m. Tuesday, Grijalva\u2019s lead over Saucedo Mercer was much smaller than in 2012, when he won by 35,000 votes. With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Grijalva was up by about 8,000 votes.

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