Friday, May 27, 2016

FLASH: SoS Michele Reagan follows the law 88.4 percent the time

Laurie Roberts at azcentral.com reports on the incredible f*#%up by the Secretary of State's office, aka Michele Reagan, in the May 17 special election.

88.4 is the percentage of the electorate that got the Prop 123 info pamphlets on schedule. Another number: 536,936. That's actual number of households that did not get their pamphlets according to Reagan's bumbling elections guy, Eric Spencer.

Reagan’s election’s director, Eric Spencer, produced 108 pages of material to show that the office is not to blame for yet another Arizona election was a train wreck.

The most illuminating thing in Spencer’s report: it wasn’t 400,000 voters who were denied access to information they legally should have had before getting their early ballots.

Turns out an estimated 536,936 voters didn't get the publicity pamphlet on time – the booklet detailing analyses of Props. 123 and 124 along with arguments for and against each measure. Given that Prop. 123, the school funding referendum, passed with just 19,416 extra votes, that seems rather significant -- to me at least.

...

[Spencer] noted that 88.4 percent of Arizona households got their publicity pamphlets in accordance with the law, though he doesn't point out that most of those households got them due to the efforts of Maricopa and Pima county elections officials.

"A total of 1,663,658 publicity pamphlets, or 88.4 percent were received by Arizona households in early April -- well before the early voting period began," he wrote.

Well, congrats to you all on that fine achievement.

In fact, I'm thinking maybe that should be the new office slogan:

Michele Reagan, following the law 88.4 percent the time.

So how can Reagan's office NOT be to blame? Oh, Roberts reminds us that (a) IBM had a software contract with the SoS office that Reagan had previously terminated, and (b) those employees under previous SoS Ken Bennett who knew how to operate the software (and did so correctly in previous elections) have gone missing. Fired? Or just getting the hell out of Dodge?

So, in the main, over half a million voters had to rely only on those cute little signs saying vote FOR Prop 123.

Reminds me of Little Shop of Horrors.

And then EJ Montini at azcentral.com has his say.

I’ll give them both credit for nerve: Gov. Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

Ducey’s office sent out a press release about a Thursday afternoon event that reads:

“Governor Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Michele Reagan will officially canvass the results of last week’s special election on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

“Following the canvass, Governor Ducey will join a broad coalition of education champions, educators, business leaders, legislators and elected officials from all over the state for a signing ceremony of the official ballot passage proclamations of Proposition 123 and Proposition 124.”

Talk about audacity, gall. Smugness?

Look up chutzpah in the dictionary -- this is IT.

Especially given the fact that Attorney General Mark Brnovich stated publicly: “Even if the Secretary of State’s failure was the result of mere neglect, one thing is certain – the Secretary violated Arizona law.”

But hey, their side came out on top, right? So Ducey and Reagan are going to celebrate.

It’s like that old rock and roll song with the lyrics rewritten.

They fought the law and … they won.

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