Out of Arizona''s 3,247,146 voters, only 727,080 cast ballots in Tuesday's 2014 primary election. That's a 22.39% voter turnout.
The county with the highest percentage of voter turnout? Apache, where 34.79% voted. Yavapai County was close behind with a 34.41% voter turnout rate.
Maricopa had the lowest turnout in the state, with only 19.57% of registered voters casting ballots. Even still, that translated into 386,445 ballots returned, accounting for more than half of the entire ballots in the state.
So, guess how much money was spent on campaigning for this primary season? According to the Cronkite News, more than $43.5 million was spent on the just ended primary races. That's (gulp!) $59.82 per person that turned in a ballot. Remember that the next time you don't think your vote is valuable.
But, it's worth it, right? As Ruth Jones, an Arizona State University professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies, points out, "We are fortunate to have really competitive races," she said. "How much is too much to pay for democracy?"
Watch for a more detailed breakout of costs soon.
Doug Ducey may have had a decisive victory, but for other candidates, there are some very, very close races right now.
In CD1, the race between Gary Kiehne and Speaker Andy Tobin is very tight at the moment. Tobin has 16,573 votes (35.79%) andKiehne is holding 16,104 votes (34.78%). Tobin's statement released today read, "We find the latest results very encouraging and believe Andy will be the Republican nominee to take on Ann Kirkpatrick. Andy's lead is now far outside the number of votes required to avoid a recount, and based on our projections, this lead will hold once any remaining votes are counted."
In LD15, which has two seats open, Heather Carter has an obvious lead at the moment (9293 38.19%). But her two opponents John Allen (7483 votes, 30.75%) and David Burnell Smith (7474 votes, 30.71%) are only separated by 9.
If you think that's bad, Kate Brophy McGee is also looking for a seat mate. With her tally of 12,685 (46.53%), she's pretty safe. But Mary Hamway (7222, 26.49%) is only leading Shawnna Bolick (7215, 26.46%) by 7 votes. As one political observer said, "Yikes!"
All of that should be decided when the early and provisional ballots are counted.
According to Kim Crawford, Communications Specialist to the Secretary of State's Office, "State law gives the counties five business days, until the end of Wednesday, September 3, to verify and process the remaining early and provisional ballots. A state canvass to certify official election results for
federal, statewide and legislative races is scheduled for September 8."
It was a bumpy Primary election throughout Arizona. Technology difficulties in Yavapai County and Cochise County delayed ballot reporting. As of 6 PM on Wednesday, a large notice in red ink was on the Arizona Secretary of State's election site:
"COCHISE COUNTY EXPERIENCED TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH
YESTERDAY'S TABULATION OF BALLOTS. PREVIOUSLY POSTED
RESULTS FOR THIS COUNTY HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM OUR SITE.
NEW RESULTS WILL BE FORTHCOMING."
By 8 PM, Cochise results were finally back online.
Yavapai County's election results weren't posted as expected at 8 PM last night, they weren't even posted in the early hours of the morning on the AZSOS site. Today, a press release from the SOS office explained what happened:
Yavapai County Primary Election night reporting delay
"YAVAPAI COUNTY – During Primary Election Night Reporting, Yavapai County, working with new election equipment, experienced technical difficulties properly exporting the results file out of its system. Yavapai County worked throughout the night and exported a results file at approximately 5:40 a.m. Once Yavapai exported the file, that data was successfully uploaded into the state election night reporting system without difficulty.
"In May 2014, Yavapai County approved this election equipment for experimental use pursuant to A.R.S. 16-442(F). Since the Secretary of State's Office certifies an end-to-end voting system, the system as configured in Yavapai County was not certified by the State. This new election system, Unisyn OpenElect, is only used in Yavapai County."
Yavapai County Recorder, Leslie Hoffman, released this response:
The elections results for the Primary Election of August 26, 2014 were accurately tabulated, published on the Yavapai County website, and reported to the Arizona Secretary of State. There was a delay in reporting election data to the Secretary of State due to a communication issue that slowed the export of the data to the Secretary of State. The new Unisyn Voting Solutions' equipment installed by Yavapai County pursuant to ARS 16-442(F) performed as designed. The new equipment is certified by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission and used in multiple jurisdictions across the country. The vote tabulations were accurate and posted on the County website beginning at 9:30PM and the election data uploaded to the Secretary of State by 6:00AM. The Elections Department is working closely with Unisyn Voting Solutions to resolve the communication issue that created the delay.