From the Rose Law Group Reporter Growlery
By Phil Riske | Senior Reporter/Writer
Once again, the secretary of state’s office takes a hit for delays in election night returns Tuesday, despite a new software system, at the Capitol. The system repeatedly displayed error messages just as early returns were released, and as candidates, the media and the public were visiting the site, The Arizona Republic reported. The results displayed sporadically until late evening, although spokesman Matt Roberts said the problem was resolved in the 9 o’clock hour.
There were no problems at Maricopa County elections this go-round, but it appeared for a couple days veteran County Recorder Helen Purcell would be paying for her office’s sins in the March presidential-preference election, when Purcell slashed polling places to save money. A crush of voters overwhelmed the voting centers, causing outrage as long lines and longer waits ensued.
As of this writing, however, Purcell pulled ahead of political newbie Aaron Flannery by 400 votes after trailing by 650.
The state reported only 24 percent of eligible voters cast ballots Tuesday.
And that’s more disconcerting than a delay in getting vote totals or even standing in line for hours to vote.
I initially wanted to bring shame on those who don’t vote, but an editorial in The Arizona Republic dealt with low turnout in better words than mine.
“Without a doubt, low voter turnout is a problem, and this election was no exception. When citizens ‘opt out’ of voting, our system is not truly representative of us, the people, wrote the paper’s editorial board.
“The goal should not be to coerce, shame or bribe them into caring about a form of governance that some of their ancestors died to create, preserve or protect. The goal is to get them to remember how important they are to that system — to make people realize that no matter who wins or loses, every election is a triumph for democracy.
“And the size of the triumph is directly related to the voter turnout. We all have a role to play.”