Joe Arpaio at 50.74 Percent; Maricopa County Has 34,450 Votes Left
CARMONA 1,030,647 46.14
FLAKE 1,099,207 49.21
The Carmona v. Flake match-up narrowed just a wee bit more, with Flake besting Carmona by 3.07 percent or 68,560 votes, at last count.
The Arizona Secretary of State's office has indicated to me that Pima County Elections is finished with its vote count, so only Maricopa County has to finish up. (Pima County has yet to confirm this to me, though.)
SOS Bennett is promising to address some of the legitimate issues raised in the aftermath of November 6.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Bennett states that he wants to have the state's election system revamped and streamlined by 2014.
That's when he might be running for governor, so he has an incentive to make progress. He noted that Arizona would have looked even worse to the nation if for some reason the presidential contest had hung on results in Sand Land.
"I want 98 percent of all the ballots to have been scanned into the system and counted by election night," Bennett told the AP. "And the next morning, as an election family statewide, we're dealing with 10,000 to 15,000 ballots, and we're done in two days."
He also suggested that we find a way of dealing with the precinct-rule regarding provisional ballots. As I discussed in a previous post, Arizona law currently says that if a provisional is cast in the wrong precinct, it does not count.
An 2010 ACLU report I cited found that about a third of provisionals were thrown out in 2008, most because of this law.
"Right now we're operating like a bank that has 1,000 branches," Bennett explained, "but when you show up to deposit money you can only deposit at the branch you opened your accounts at."
New legislation would be needed, and I hope Bennett lobbies to change the existing law. Maybe enough Rs and Ds would get on board to put it on the governor's desk. A little bipartisanship, for a change, would be nice.
Bennett will also need all of the counties on the same team, since they administer our elections.
But if the result of all of the acrimony and complaints over this election is a faster, more efficient, and more voter-friendly system, at least we will have gotten something out of it.
At some point, perception becomes reality. If people believe that the system is rigged, that their vote doesn't count, then that perception needs to be changed, so Bennett needs to make sure he follows through.
Because there is an intense distrust among many citizens when it comes to public authority in Arizona. If that's not addressed, more anger and suspicion is sure to follow.