Political notebook: Young and not-so-young voters make poll worker feel 'like a little kid'

2012-11-11T00:00:00Z Political notebook: Young and not-so-young voters make poll worker feel 'like a little kid'Becky Pallack and Tom Beal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Paul Jamrog, 64, thought his first time working at the polls would be frustrating, mainly because he'd have to keep his political opinions to himself.

Instead, he ended a very busy day at the Donna R. Liggins Recreation Center, 2160 N. Sixth Ave., with a "really good feeling" about the democratic process.

It began when he checked in a first-time voter, an 18-year-old woman who had devoted hours to researching the candidates and the propositions. She brought a filled-in sample ballot with her.

Jamrog shook her hand, other poll workers took her picture with cellphones and they all applauded her efforts.

Then, late in the afternoon, a 99-year-old African-American woman came in, using a walker.

She had filled out an early ballot but wanted to deposit it at the polling place.

It was Canara Price, a retired preschool teacher and gospel singer who will turn 100 in May.

She told Jamrog she'd continue to vote in person as long as she could walk because there was a time in her life when they wouldn't let her vote.

"It just felt really good. I felt like a little kid," Jamrog said.

One is the loneliest number

When Tucson talks, at least in the state Legislature, will anyone be listening?

Following Tuesday's election, the city won't have much of a voice in the majority caucus, and that's something many a Republican candidate had warned about.

Rep.-elect Ethan Orr is the only Republican whose district overlaps the city limits.

Changes in the legislative delegation can only help the GOP, as Republican City Councilman Steve Kozachik sees it.

"What we saw was some of the hunter-gatherer wing of the (Republican) Party kind of go the way of the dinosaur this time," he said. Frank Antenori. Terri Proud. Vic Williams. Ted Vogt. All Republicans who now have one less reason to take I-10 north of the Gila this season.

Orr is moderate with a proven record of job creation, said Kozachik, who endorsed Orr.

"Ethan now has a chance to exercise some leadership up there and draw the party toward the center," he said.

"I think it's important that we have a voice in the majority caucus," said Orr, who will be singing Tucson's praises solo. "It seems like there's some reasonable people up there I can work with."

Orr has asked to sit on the Judiciary Committee, because he is interested in how prisoner re-entry and sentencing reform can save the state money that could be spent in classrooms; the Education Committee, to help protect the University of Arizona and the Joint Technological Education District; and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, to protect and enhance state parks.

"I'm looking forward to working with other people from our community regardless of their party, and there's a lot of things we have in common," Orr said.

Overall, the metro area residents appear to have elected 15 Democrats and nine Republicans - most of whom cling to the outskirts of community. We say appear because a few close races could be changed by ballots yet to be counted.

It ain't over 'til …

The polite and gracious thing for a losing candidate to do is thank his or her volunteers and voters and congratulate the winning candidate.

This year we're seeing the rise of the anti-concession speech - candidates issuing statements in which they refuse to acknowledge certain defeat.

In Congressional District 3, Republican Gabriela Saucedo Mercer sent out a press release saying "until we know that we have lost the battle for this election, I will not concede defeat."

Her opponent, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, had a 26,000-vote lead.

Tanner Bell, a Republican candidate for the Pima County Board of Supervisors, posted on Facebook: "I will not concede this election until the last vote has been counted and everyone has had the opportunity to be given a voice in our electoral process."

The people said it loud and clear when they gave 12,000 more votes to Democratic incumbent Sharon Bronson than to Bell.

Contact reporter Becky Pallack at bpallack@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.

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

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