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Changes to the Arizona Constitution need to meet certain standards. It’s the law of our land, the code that governs us, and it should be treated as such. That doesn’t mean it’s untouchable, but if we’re going to alter such a document we’re going to set the bar high. And most of the propositions on this year’s ballot don’t rise to that level. Many simply aren’t necessary — non-issues that are being brought up by the Arizona Legislature in the event that something might happen in the future (and give them a chance to snub the federal government in the process). Consider:
Pat Tillman is among a group of 76 players and six head coaches who were named to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot Tuesday.
After a "Jesus for President" campaign was launched by a Mesa pastor as a sermon series complete with yard signs, a wag quickly pointed out that Jesus Christ was not eligible for the White House because he wasn't born in the U.S.
CONTROVERSY: The Arizona Biltmore Resort hosted a gathering of pastors on Sept. 18 to rally in support of Proposition 102, the ballot initiative to change the state constitution to say that marriage is between a man and a woman only.
Queen Creek voters must turn in their ballots today for the March 11 primary.
Voters will get a Nov. 7 ballot filled with 19 proposed laws and state constitutional amendments, tying a state record for the most propositions in a general election. The Tribune Editorial Board presents this guide to help voters decipher the issues, and to spark some debate with your friends and family by sharing our opinion about these ballot measures.
Arizona voters may get to decide in November to enact measures aimed at illegal immigration that Gov. Janet Napolitano refused to let become law.
A legal attempt to stop a Mesa election has failed. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s ruling Wednesday denies Riverview at Dobson developers’ claims that referendum petitions were invalid.
February 10, 2005
Oct. 24, 2004
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Steve Ellman will continue to fight to keep his Los Arcos redevelopment deal with Scottsdale off the March ballot despite a judge’s rejection Monday of Ellman’s request to halt the referendum.
Chandler is asking voters to approve $8.5 million in bonds for a museum without knowing where or when the facility would be constructed, who would operate it or where funds to run it would come from.
Livid after Gov. Napolitano vetoed a sensible and balanced unemployment insurance bill on which lawmakers had labored for months, state Sen. Carolyn Allen, R-Scottsdale, is regrouping for battle. She's come up with what could be a winning strategy.
Arizona voters are going to get the chance to decide if they want to claim the right over just about everything within the state’s borders.
Early ballots for the Gilbert Town Council election may be cast in person until Friday at Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 East Civic Center Drive, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Arizona appears on the verge of finally getting a law that will allow patients to obtain marijuana legally.
The following voting guide has been prepared by yours truly as an another point of view for your consideration.
Think of long lines of people standing in the rain, voters huddled in cold weather with paper coffee cups in their hands. All of that is so yesterday.
We're moving away from being a nation of voters all of whom turn out to vote on one particular day, to a nation of voters who wait for a ballot to arrive in the mail, fill it out at home and send it back without ever having to venture out to the polls. All this and on different days, some as far in advance as a month before polls open.
It may not sound like a huge change. Mail-in voting certainly makes it easier on people already struggling to balance work and family life. But it's actually having an effect not only on how campaigns are run, but also on political polling. Eventually this change in voting patterns could gain sway to the point where it shifts the path of future election results.
Just this past June one California county delayed certification of election results after receiving more than 12,000 mail-in ballots the day after the election, according to the Los Angeles Times. The ballots had been forwarded from one post office to another and candidates threatened lawsuits if those ballots were not counted in advance of certifying elections. Both early voting in-person and by mail are available in California.
Having lived through the national debacle of Bush v. Gore in 2000, in which election results were delayed by recounts and court appeals for more than five weeks beyond Election Day, no one wants to repeat that excruciating experience. But mail-in voting certainly raises the possibility that such delays could become commonplace.
It's already changing the way campaigns are run and TV ads are bought and placed. Stuart Rothenberg of Congressional Quarterly writes: "More than 30 states allow voters to cast their ballots well before Election Day. Early has begun in Arizona and starts Oct. 11 in Illinois. Early voting in Indiana starts 29 days before the Nov. 2 general election. In Wisconsin, it's three weeks before Election Day. In Florida, early voting starts 15 days before the election."
Oregon, for example, went to an all mail-in ballot in 1998, after having toyed with mail-in voting in earlier elections.
Early voting has changed the arc of campaign planning and lowered the value of late TV spots and late campaign developments. Consider the 2008 presidential election. Republican nominee Sen. John McCain came out of his convention in late August some five points ahead of then-Sen. Barack Obama. Wall Street crashed in mid-September and independent voters deserted the GOP. President Obama won that election handily, but my personal belief is that never would have happened if the economy hadn't turned topsy-turvy with voters blaming outgoing President George W. Bush and his would-be successor.
Consider how recent revelations in California's gubernatorial race may have changed votes. Republican Meg Whitman was running even with former Gov. Democrat Jerry Brown. Then a former domestic worker went public with information proving Whitman's husband read a government-issued letter explaining to the family someone on its domestic staff had issues with her immigration status.
Changes in voting patterns driven by mail-in ballots are also throwing obstacles in the path of veteran poll-watchers. Each individual polling firm can skew poll results by how it handles trends among early balloters. According to the Washington Post, when conducting surveys some pollsters now ask people if they have already voted and if the answer is yes, those persons' answers are most often thrown into the category of "likely voters."
So while early voting is overall a net positive, mail-in balloting may not ultimately be the solution. Perhaps states such as Oregon should change over to the California method, in which most voters go early to the polls to vote and they have more than one day on which to do so.
That would ensure that all votes could be tallied on Election Day, rather than subjecting elections to the vicissitudes of the postal service and delays.
Bonnie Erbe is a TV host and writes a column for Scripps Howard News Service. E-mail bonnieerbe@CompuServe.com.
Arizona voters can attend a public town hall about the 10 propositions on the Nov. 2 ballot 7 p.m. Wednesday at Gateway Community College, 108 N. 40th St., Phoenix.
Election officials say early primary voter ballots are slow to return in the state's metropolitan areas.
Arizona registered voters who would like to request an early ballot for the May 18 state sales tax election must do so by 5 p.m. Friday .
It looks like Arizonans are going to get to decide if they want to be able to use marijuana for medical reasons.