Sunnyside district recall election today

2014-05-20T14:15:00Z 2014-05-21T18:35:00Z Sunnyside district recall election todayBy Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Pima County Elections Department has begun counting ballots in the Sunnyside Unified School District Governing Board recall election. 

So far, 4,079 ballots that have been returned are being counted, said Ricky Hernandez, chief financial officer for the Pima County Schools Superintendent's Office. 

Today is the last day for voters in the Sunnyside Unified School District to cast a ballot in the recall election targeting two Governing Board members.

Challengers Rebecca “Beki” Quintero, a south-side community leader, and Mike Polak, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Tucson City Council, against board member Bobby Garcia, a retired Tucson police officer.

Former Sunnyside board member Eric Giffin is running for the seat held by board clerk and longtime board member Louie Gonzales.

The recall election was called in January after Gonzales and Garcia, along with current board President Eva Dong, approved a contract extension for Superintendent Manuel Isquierdo after he withdrew as the sole candidate for a superintendent position in San Antonio.

The extension outraged some community members who have criticized Isquierdo over his personal financial and legal troubles.

The election so far

Ballots were mailed to 26,424 registered voters in the district in late April. As of the close of business Monday, 3,979 ballots had been received, said Ricky Hernandez, chief financial officer for the Pima County Schools Superintendent’s Office.

How to vote

This is a mail-in election. Eligible voters should have received their ballots. Voters who need a replacement ballot or who want to drop off their mail-in ballot can do so today at:

  • The county recorder’s main office, 115 N. Church Ave. — 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • The recorder’s ballot-processing facility, 6550 S. Country Club Road — 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Apollo Middle School, 265 W. Nebraska St. — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. today to be counted.

Need help?

Call the Pima County Recorder’s Office at 724-4330 for questions about ballots or voting places.

Next steps

Unofficial results will be published between 7 and 8 p.m. Check azstarnet.com for updates. Results also can be viewed at www.pima.gov/elections by clicking on the “Elections Results” link.

If one or both challengers are elected, they will not be sworn in until the election is certified by Pima County Board of Supervisors and the School Superintendent’s Office. The certification is set to go before the board on June 3, Hernandez said.

If a challenger wins, he or she will finish the remainder of the incumbent’s term, which expires in December 2016.

Cost

The election will cost the district about $98,000 based on a 30 percent voter turnout.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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