Maricopa County

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Arizona: Impact of early voting list plan distributed | NewsZap

Maricopa County officials say that about 20,000 registered voters would be removed from the permanent early voting list under proposed legislation aimed at reducing the number of provisional ballots. No particular demographic group would be hit harder than another, according to an analysis by the Maricopa County Elections Department. Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, developed SB 1261 with input from county election officials. As approved by the Senate, it would remove people from permanent early voting lists if they fail to vote in four consecutive federal elections and fail to respond to notice from the county elections office. “No other other state that I found who has a permanent early voting list has no ability to clean up their list,” Reagan said.

Full Article: Analysis: Impact of early voting list plan distributed  .

Arizona: High minority precincts cast more provisional ballots | Tucson Sentinel

Maricopa County voters living in precincts with higher percentages of minorities had a greater chance of casting provisional ballots in the Nov. 6 election, a Cronkite News Service analysis found. The statistical analysis drew upon a precinct-level summary of provisional ballots from the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and precinct-level demographic data prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau and provided by the county to a reporter. It found strong relationship between provisional ballots as a percentage of total ballots in a precinct and the precinct’s percentage of minorities. That is, the likelihood that voters would cast provisional ballots tended to increase with a precinct’s minority population.

Full Article: Analysis: High minority precincts cast more provisional ballots.

Arizona: Pima County Supervisors reject request for special hand ballot audit | Arizona Daily Star

The Pima County Board of Supervisors denied a request from its Election Integrity Commission to sort early ballots by precinct for a special hand audit for this election. The board spent about an hour Tuesday listening to commissioners and activists describe the need for an improved ballot-counting process. Pima County is the only county in the state that doesn’t sort ballots by precinct, said commissioner Michael Duniho. “Resisting improvement in vote count auditing has earned Pima County a reputation for suspect elections,” he told the board. A precinct-level hand count would confirm the accuracy of the machine count, Duniho said.

Full Article: Supervisors reject request for special hand ballot audit.

Arizona: Spanish Voter ID Cards Give Incorrect Election Date | Fox News

The Arizona Democratic Party is calling for a meeting with the Maricopa County Recorder following yet another error in connection with the upcoming election. The wrong election date was printed on the mailer that comes with your voter ID that you punch out. The error was only made in Spanish, but some worry it will cause voters to show up on the wrong day. The recorder says it only affects a few dozen cards but others aren’t convinced it’s not more widespread. “We want to make sure no one’s vote is jeopardized in any way,” says Frank Camacho, Arizona State Democratic Party.

Full Article: Arizona Spanish Voter ID Cards Give Incorrect Election Date | Fox News Latino.

Arizona: Fake write-in votes cost the county | Arizona Republic

If some voters had their way, Mickey Mouse would be an Arizona senator. And U.S. president. And a mayor. And on every local school board. Donald Duck, a close runner-up for all those races, likely would concede. Mickey has always been the front-runner among fake write-in candidates. Superheroes from Marvel comics are popular, too, along with other characters from box-office favorites around election time. Some voters write in their names, or names of friends or family members. Others go on rants about politics on the write-in line. While some may find it funny, Maricopa County elections officials aren’t laughing. Every write-in entry must be verified with the list of legitimate write-in candidates for that election, by a three-member review team. In the August primary election, Maricopa County elections officials saw the biggest ratio of fake-to-legitimate write-in candidates in recent memory: Among 90,433 entries in write-in slots, 1,738 were votes for legitimate write-in candidates. Each fake entry cost Arizona counties money and manpower and slowed down the tabulation process, said Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, who oversees elections.

Full Article: Fake write-in votes cost the county.

Arizona: Fake write-in votes cost the county | Arizona Republic

If some voters had their way, Mickey Mouse would be an Arizona senator. And U.S. president. And a mayor. And on every local school board. Donald Duck, a close runner-up for all those races, likely would concede. Mickey has always been the front-runner among fake write-in candidates. Superheroes from Marvel comics are popular, too, along with other characters from box-office favorites around election time. Some voters write in their names, or names of friends or family members. Others go on rants about politics on the write-in line. While some may find it funny, Maricopa County elections officials aren’t laughing. Every write-in entry must be verified with the list of legitimate write-in candidates for that election, by a three-member review team. In the August primary election, Maricopa County elections officials saw the biggest ratio of fake-to-legitimate write-in candidates in recent memory: Among 90,433 entries in write-in slots, 1,738 were votes for legitimate write-in candidates. Each fake entry cost Arizona counties money and manpower and slowed down the tabulation process, said Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, who oversees elections.

Full Article: Fake write-in votes cost the county.

Arizona: Last-ditch try in open-primary fight | Arizona Daily Star

Challengers to the state’s open primary system want another two hours to argue in court there are not enough valid signatures to put the measure on the ballot. Attorney Mike Liburdi told the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday he was “cut off” on Thursday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Rea in the middle of his arguments. He said Rea refused to give him more time even after initiative supporters finished early. “Given the magnitude of the controversy – a proposed constitutional amendment that will fundamentally change the manner in which public officers are elected – it was unreasonable and an abuse of discretion not to provide (challengers) with more time to present their case,” Liburdi argued to the high court. 

Full Article: Last-ditch try in open-primary fight.

Arizona: Redistricting headed to two courts | Arizona Daily Sun

The Independent Redistricting Commission wants a judge to throw out efforts by Republicans to void the map it created for the state’s nine congressional districts. Legal papers filed late Monday charge that those seeking a new map are using “innuendo, selectively extracted transcript experts, and speculation to weave a conspiracy theory intended to cast doubt on the commission’s work.” Attorneys for the commission also said the lawsuit never says that the maps, which will be used beginning this year, do not meet the constitutional goals. These range from requirements to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act to creating compact districts and protecting communities of interest. Instead, Mary O’Grady and Joe Kanefield, the two lead attorneys for the commission, told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain that the complaint is instead focused on “manufacturing flaws” about the procedures used to draw the map.

Full Article: Ariz. redistricting headed to two courts.

Arizona: Redistricting headed to two courts | Arizona Daily Sun

The Independent Redistricting Commission wants a judge to throw out efforts by Republicans to void the map it created for the state’s nine congressional districts. Legal papers filed late Monday charge that those seeking a new map are using “innuendo, selectively extracted transcript experts, and speculation to weave a conspiracy theory intended to cast doubt on the commission’s work.” Attorneys for the commission also said the lawsuit never says that the maps, which will be used beginning this year, do not meet the constitutional goals. These range from requirements to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act to creating compact districts and protecting communities of interest. Instead, Mary O’Grady and Joe Kanefield, the two lead attorneys for the commission, told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain that the complaint is instead focused on “manufacturing flaws” about the procedures used to draw the map.

Full Article: Ariz. redistricting headed to two courts.

Arizona: Redistricting panel wants GOP suit tossed | Arizona Daily Star

The Independent Redistricting Commission wants a judge to throw out efforts by Republicans to void the map it created for the state’s nine congressional districts. Legal papers filed late Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court charge those seeking a new map are using “innuendo, selectively extracted transcript experts, and speculation to weave a conspiracy theory intended to cast doubt on the commission’s work.” Meanwhile, in a related lawsuit in U.S. District Court, a Democratic lawyer has questioned whether the judge hearing a challenge to the state’s 30 legislative district lines should be removed because 10 years ago he represented the Republicans in a similar fight over the redrawing of political boundaries. Republicans are challenging the new congressional and legislative district lines, saying the commission favored Democrats in drawing the lines, which will be used in elections for the next 10 years, and violated several mandates of the 2000 voter-approved initiative creating the commission, and in both cases the failure to follow procedures resulted in maps that do not meet the constitutional requirements.

Full Article: Redistrict panel wants GOP suit tossed : Welcome to StarNet - Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona: Redistricting panel wants GOP suit tossed | Arizona Daily Star

The Independent Redistricting Commission wants a judge to throw out efforts by Republicans to void the map it created for the state’s nine congressional districts. Legal papers filed late Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court charge those seeking a new map are using “innuendo, selectively extracted transcript experts, and speculation to weave a conspiracy theory intended to cast doubt on the commission’s work.” Meanwhile, in a related lawsuit in U.S. District Court, a Democratic lawyer has questioned whether the judge hearing a challenge to the state’s 30 legislative district lines should be removed because 10 years ago he represented the Republicans in a similar fight over the redrawing of political boundaries. Republicans are challenging the new congressional and legislative district lines, saying the commission favored Democrats in drawing the lines, which will be used in elections for the next 10 years, and violated several mandates of the 2000 voter-approved initiative creating the commission, and in both cases the failure to follow procedures resulted in maps that do not meet the constitutional requirements.

Full Article: Redistrict panel wants GOP suit tossed : Welcome to StarNet - Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona: Election officials oppose redrawing districts | Arizona Daily Star

Election officials from around the state are lining up to oppose a bid by a Republican-backed group to get a court to force new lines to be drawn for this year’s legislative elections. Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne, who is leading the charge, filed legal papers late Wednesday to intervene in the federal court lawsuit. The county’s position is a panel of judges being convened to look at the work of the Independent Redistricting Commission should keep its hands off the lines, at least for the time being. Osborne said the issue has nothing to do with politics. She said it does not matter to her who runs for the Legislature and where their districts are. And Osborne said she takes no position on the charge by critics of the commission that the maps are biased against Republicans. The problem, she said, is timing.

Full Article: Election officials oppose redrawing districts.

Arizona: Election officials oppose redrawing districts | Arizona Daily Star

Election officials from around the state are lining up to oppose a bid by a Republican-backed group to get a court to force new lines to be drawn for this year’s legislative elections. Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne, who is leading the charge, filed legal papers late Wednesday to intervene in the federal court lawsuit. The county’s position is a panel of judges being convened to look at the work of the Independent Redistricting Commission should keep its hands off the lines, at least for the time being. Osborne said the issue has nothing to do with politics. She said it does not matter to her who runs for the Legislature and where their districts are. And Osborne said she takes no position on the charge by critics of the commission that the maps are biased against Republicans. The problem, she said, is timing.

Full Article: Election officials oppose redrawing districts.

Arizona: Author of illegal immigration law to face recall election | latimes.com

An Arizona lawmaker best known as the author of a controversial law that cracks down on illegal immigrants will face a recall election Nov. 8.  In a ruling Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the recall election of Russell Pearce, the president of the state Senate and arguably the most powerful politician in the Arizona.

Supporters describe Pearce, a former sheriff’s deputy, as a principled lawmaker trying to protect his state; critics say he panders to racism and demonizes immigrants, legal and illegal.

The justices held a closed-door conference on an appeal from a Pearce supporter who alleged that because of flawed paperwork, the recall drive did not amass enough valid voter signatures to force the recall election in the lawmaker’s district in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa.

Full Article: Author of Arizona's illegal immigration law to face recall election - latimes.com.

Arizona: Arizona high court accepts transfer of recall case | Arizona Daily Star

Arizona’s top court agreed Wednesday to decide whether a Nov. 8 recall election will be held for state Senate President Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican known nationally for championing legislation against illegal immigration.

A Pearce supporter’s appeal of a judge’s ruling against a challenge to holding the recall election was filed with the mid-level Court of Appeals. But the Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a request by sides in the case to accept transfer the case to the high court. That bypasses the Court of Appeals so there’s a ruling in time to avoid any interruption in the election process.

The Supreme Court will consider the case Sept. 13 during a closed-door conference, without hearing oral arguments, spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer said.

Arizona: Arizona state senator recall election can go forward, judge rules | CNN.com

An Arizona judge ruled Friday that a special election to recall state Senate President Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor behind a controversial anti-illegal immigration law that a federal court struck down in April, can be held November 8 as planned.

In an 11-page ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi rejected nearly all of the arguments alleging problems with the recall petition.
The suit was filed by Franklin Bruce Ross, who backs Pearce and who alleged problems in the way the recall petitions were filled out. The suit cited as an example the language in the oath sworn by the circulators of the recall petitions did not state that the signatures collected were “genuine” or the “functional equivalent.”

But Hegyi concluded that the legislation concerning recall elections does not mandate that the oath contain the word “genuine.” “It merely requires ‘an’ oath that the Petition signatures are genuine, but does not prescribe a specific oath that will accomplish that objective,” the judge wrote. In this case, the requirements of the law — which he described as constitutional — have been met, he said.

Full Article: Arizona state senator recall election can go forward, judge rules - CNN.com.

Arizona: Ruling in Russell Pearce recall hearing expected this week | The Arizona Republic

Russell Pearce wasn’t in court Monday, but the two-fisted lawmaker’s political career may now hang on what happened there. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Hugh E. Hegyi will rule this week on a legal challenge filed on Pearce’s behalf, seeking to nullify petitions demanding that the Senate president face a Nov. 8 recall election.

The judge listened as lawyers argued for about two hours on recall-election petitions that county and state election officials determined had enough valid signatures to force the November vote. Arguments ranged from what happened in Arizona’s 1910 constitutional convention to whether homeless people should have a say in ousting Pearce.

Full Article: Ruling in Russell Pearce recall hearing expected this week - Arizona News from The Arizona Republic.

Arizona: Maricopa County shuns voting centers | Arizona Republic

Next week, a new law will allow counties to set up centralized voting centers to replace or supplement neighborhood polling places. But Maricopa County officials say that kind of system wouldn’t work in the state’s largest county.

Voting centers would allow county residents to walk into any location and get a ballot specific to where they live. State elections officials say the system could help rural counties save money by closing underused precincts.

That’s not necessarily the case in Maricopa County.

Full Article: Maricopa County shuns voting centers.