Counties prepare for first recount of statewide ballot proposition in Arizona’s history
PHOENIX: Secretary of State Ken Bennett has been granted a court order allowing an automatic recount to proceed regarding the results of Proposition 112.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig issued the order Monday afternoon. A recount was mandated under state law due to the close margin in the race for Prop 112. Out of more than 1.5 million votes cast in that race, “no” votes are leading “yes” votes by just 128 – well within the 200-vote margin that would necessitate a recount.
County elections officials are preparing for the recount now, and will shortly begin re-running ballots through optical-scan machines in order to again tabulate the vote total for Prop 112. Only that contest will be recounted. Judge Oberbillig has ordered the counties to complete their recount activities by Dec. 15. He is scheduled to certify the new results for Prop 112 at a hearing on Dec. 20.
“Together with county elections officials, we’ve been in preparations for this recount since the days following the Nov. 2 General Election when it became apparent that a recount may be necessary,” Secretary Bennett said. “I’m confident that the recount can be conducted quickly and accurately, bringing finality to the Proposition 112 results.”
The recount is expected to cost $150,000-$200,000. As outlined by state law, the counties will be reimbursed for their costs by the state.
The Secretary of State’s Office sought the recount court order immediately following Monday afternoon’s completion of a statewide canvass certifying state and federal results for the Nov. 2 General Election. A signing ceremony for the canvass included Secretary Bennett, Gov. Jan Brewer, state Attorney General Terry Goddard and Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch of the Arizona Supreme Court.
More than 1.75 million ballots were cast in the General Election, equating to statewide voter turnout of 55.6 percent. Turnout was strongest in Yavapai (67.9 percent), Pima (65.5 percent) and Gila (60.2 percent) counties. About 54 percent of Maricopa County’s registered voters cast a ballot in the General Election.
“Every General Election is a massive undertaking,” Bennett said. “But I’m pleased to report that our Nov. 2 election was conducted safely, smoothly and without major incident.
“My gratitude for that goes out to members of my office and county officials who coordinated the election, the more than 14,000 poll workers who manned polling places on Election Day and – of course – the more than 1.7 million Arizonans who cast a ballot.”
NOTE: Official 2010 General Election Canvass results are available here: www.azsos.gov/election/2010/General/Canvass2010GE.pdf