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  • LMHudson 10:49 am on May 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Menu 

    Please contact us on contact@southtempecivics.com if you wish to contribute

    Some things ordinary citizens can do in between elections

    Become a Poll Worker/Observer

    Get off the PEVL! (And vote only on Election Day, even with an absentee ballot.)

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    Recalls

    Kyrene Special District Election November 2, 2021

    Kyrene ESD No. 28

    Notes on Kyrene 6-8 curriculum

    Our November 2020 ballot

    Cheatsheet for the South Tempe ballot

    Cheatsheet for the Chandler ballot

    How to return a mail ballot Please vote early to avoid the lines on Election Day!

    Tactical Voting

    Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils

    An argument for not voting in the Board of Supervisors

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    Proposition 449

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    Sign up for the Early Ballot

    Want to vote early? Here’s how

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    Guide to the August 2020 Republican Primary

    The importance of a write-in vote in the Arizona Corporation Commission primary 

    Clean Elections 

    An Argument for voting for Eddie Cook for Assessor and for John Allen as Treasurer

    Arizona Tax Credit and school choice

    Support school choice at no cost to you. Use the Arizona Tax Credit. 

    Corporations, too, can use the Arizona Tax Credit to fund private schools at no cost to them

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    The importance of voting in SRP elections

    SRP Board election 7 April, 2020 

    How to vote by mail in the April 7 2020 SRP election 

    Tempe zoning

    Tempe claims “federal case law” prevents it from enforcing its zoning laws. 

    GPLET forum January 13, 2020 

    Short-term rental meeting Tuesday September 16, 2019 

    Airbnb is coming to your neighborhood 

    Municipal courts

    8 studies in Municipal Courts 

    Tempe election March 2020

    An argument for voting in the Tempe municipal election 

    All Tempe candidates’ forum January 15, 2020 

    Mayor Candidates’ Forum December 13 

    City Council Candidates’ Forum December 13 

    A proposal for voting in the March 2020 Tempe election: Don’t vote 

     
    • Kirstyn Goodman 12:02 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hello,

      This is such a helpful resource. Do you know if there is anything like this for Phoenix? I am having a hard time voting for some of the Phoenix specific questions and would love some input.

      Like

      • LMHudson 12:52 pm on October 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your kind words. I will keep my eyes peeled and link to it if I see it.

        Like

    • azfamilylawtips 2:22 am on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      This is invaluable, and I so very much appreciate this resource. I also liked the “lady’s” deleted tweets… can’t spell her name offhand, so I’ll be over-generous and refer to her generically as a lady. I guess woman with the injured middle finger is a better appellation. Terrible that she can’t bend it after the accident. But it still works to delete tweets and cya. 😉 Thanks for all your hard work! Hoping 11/3 is a WIN for the country, AZ and South Tempe!

      Like

    • azfamilylawtips 4:14 pm on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, AZ! #WalkAway is bringing some PATRIOT LOVE to the Valley of the Sun! Join us in PHOENIX this Sunday! Let’s RESCUE AMERICA together! Info or register: give.walkawayfoundation.org/event/walkaway-rally-phoenix-az/e296887 Dems walking away from Democratic party & voting for Trump!

      Like

  • LMHudson 1:01 pm on December 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests 

    I submitted this one by ordinary mail 4 December 2021. I also submitted a copy by email to PRR@risc.Maricopa.gov.

    Public Records Custodian
    Maricopa County Recorder
    111 S. Third Ave.
    Phoenix AZ 85003

    Public Records Request under the Arizona Freedom of Information Act

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am writing to request all internal documents and records including emails and texts relevant to assisting public understanding of the way in which the county recruits, screens, hires and assigns temporary election workers to the roughly 1,000 temporary jobs at MCTEC, and the thousands of temporary jobs at polling places and in the field, such as couriers and tech support.

    Please provide the names, addresses, temporary job assignments, party affiliations, and other attributes (such as language abilities) of the temporary workers who applied for jobs and the ones you hired in the August 2020 primary, in the November 2020 general, and in the November 2021 special district elections.

    For each temporary worker who applied, was screened, interviewed or otherwise considered for a job or hired, please provide their history of temporary work with the Recorders office, together with your comments in their files.

    Please indicate the extent to which you allow groups of temporary workers to request or avoid assignments with other temporary workers. Please identify family groups.

    Please provide digital copies of any written criteria used to determine who is or is not eligible for these temporary jobs. Please provide copies of procedures for assigning temporary workers to their assigned positions.

    Many thanks,

     
  • LMHudson 11:44 am on November 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Poll Worker Exam (example, mid-November 2021) 

    60 questions follow. The correct answer is green, incorrect red.

    1. Our vision is to promote a culture of service and integrity in every action
    True
    False
    2. Voters registered as Party Not Declared may choose to vote either the Democratic or Republican party ballot in a Primary Election
    True
    manual p72
    False
    manual p72
    3. Voters registered as Party Not Declared may vote in a Presidential Preference Election
    False
    manual p72
    True
    manual p72
    4. Voters registered with any party may vote for any candidate in a general election.
    True
    manual p7
    False
    manual p7
    5. If a poll worker needs to leave the voting location early on a particular day, they should NOT return to the voting location to continue working on that day.
    True
    manual p12
    False
    manual p12
    6. The mission of the Maricopa County Elections Department is to build public trust and confidence by providing _____________ elections services. (Check all that apply.)
    Temporary
    Secure
    Transparent
    Reliable
    Accessible
    7. The inspector’s job is to set expectations for the team. What expectations should they have? (Check all that apply.)
    Poll workers should arrive 30 minutes before the polling location opens
    manual p12
    Poll workers should not wear clothing with political messages
    manual p12
    Poll workers should strive to help every voter have a good voting experience
    manual p12
    Poll workers should be prepared to spend the entire day at the polling location. They should bring a lunch.
    manual p12
    8. Which of the following must inspectors do to ensure poll workers are paid properly for working at the voting location? (Check all that apply.)
    Notify the hotline if any of your poll workers are not listed on the SiteBook
    manual p155
    Ensure all poll workers clock in at the beginning of their day and out at the end using the SiteBook
    manual p67, p155
    Notify the hotline if any poll workers work more than two hours beyond the time clocked out on Election Day.
    manual p155
    Notify the hotline of hours worked for any poll workers who were unable to clock in or out using the Sitebook
    manual p155
    9. In which of the following circumstances should you call the hotline? (Check all that apply.)
    A power outage occurs at your voting location
    manual p16
    An accident or injury has occurred with a poll worker or voter
    manual p24
    Inspector is unable to close the voting location
    manual p16
    Any situation at the voting location that is preventing voters from voting or causing at least a 30-minute delay
    manual p16
    10. Which office/department is responsible for maintaining the official voter registration roster?(Check one.)
    The Documentation Office
    manual p9
    The Elections Department
    manual p9
    The Recorder’s Office
    manual p9
    The Voting Department
    manual p9
    The Maricopa County Department of Transportation
    manual p9
    11. How many times should you try to reach your troubleshooter prior to calling the hotline?
    1
    manual p16
    3
    manual p16
    2
    manual p16
    4
    manual p16
    12. What time do poll workers need to arrive at the voting location on Election Day?
    5:00am
    manual p12
    7:00am
    manual p12
    5:30am
    manual p12
    6:00am
    manual p12
    13. What time do poll workers need to arrive at the voting location on days prior to Election Day?
    15 minutes prior to opening time
    manual p12
    1 hour prior to opening time
    manual p12
    30 minutes prior to opening time
    manual p12
    10 minutes prior to opening time
    manual p12
    14. You have two poll workers who are mumbling comments about Spanish speaking voters who don’t speak English, such as “Why do they live here if they can’t be bothered to learn English?” What is the best response?
    Call your troubleshooter to come and address the situation
    manual p8,23
    Call the hotline to try and replace these workers
    manual p8,23
    Review the Language Assistance section of the manual with these workers
    manual p8,23
    Voice your own opinion on language assistance
    manual p8,23
    15. You have a clerk at the ballot pick up area who is using the magnifier to read the name and BOD codes on the voter’s materials. This is causing a significant delay for voters. Which response below is NOT the best response?
    Evaluate your team’s abilities to see if you have another worker who can be successful at the ballot pick up area
    Assist her in catching up or ask the hotline for another worker to help
    Call the hotline and see if you can fire the clerk for incompetence
    Have a discussion with her about her abilities and give her duties that she can perform successfully
    Call the hotline to see if you can reassign positions
    16. Test prints to all printers must be performed from at least one SiteBook every morning prior to opening to voting location
    True
    manual p65
    False
    manual p65
    17. Two different voters can have the same BOD codes on their ballots.
    True
    manual p102
    False
    manual p102
    18. Voters who wish to use the Accessible Voting Device can skip the Sitebooks and proceed directly to the device to vote.
    True
    manual p85
    False
    manual p85
    19. What do you do when the Assistance Required screen appears on the tabulator?
    If the results were not recorded, poll workers should give the ballot to the voter to resubmit to the tabulator
    manual p121
    Apply the security key to get more information
    manual p121
    If a jam underneath the tabulator needs to be cleared, two poll workers with different party affiliations will need to open door #2 to clear it.
    manual p121
    If door #2 was opened, complete a Goldenrod Polling Place Event/Information Report
    manual p121
    If results were recorded, poll workers should drop the ballot behind door #2
    manual p121
    20. What do you do at set up?
    Consult the manual p121
    21. According to the Precinct Ballot Report Sample in your training manual, which of the following tabulator seals do NOT need to be verified. (Check all that apply)
    Thermal Paper Door
    manual p153
    USB Portal Door
    manual p153
    Poll Worker Door
    manual p153
    Administrator Door
    manual p153
    Adapter Latch Door
    manual p153
    23. The 75-foot limit signs are to be placed 75 feet away from which of the following at the voting location?
    The entrance to the voting location
    manual p69
    The curbside voting sign
    manual p69
    The tabulator(s)
    manual p69
    The Accessible Voting Device
    manual p69
    The envelope drop box
    manual p69
    23. What is the maximum number of affidavit envelopes to load into the envelope tray at one time?
    6
    manual p50
    8
    manual p50
    10
    manual p50
    15
    manual p50
    There is no maximum number
    manual p50
    24. When should you open the polls on the Accessible Voting Device?
    At setup
    manual p64,70
    In the morning before you open on the first day
    manual p64,70
    In the morning before you open on Election Day
    manual p64,70
    None of the above
    manual p64,70
    25. When should you open the polls on the tabulator(s)?
    At setup
    manual p116-7
    In the morning before you open on the first day
    manual p116-7
    In the morning before you open on Election Day
    manual p116-7
    None of the above
    manual p116-7
    26. A voter attempts to submit his Election Day ballot in multiple directions and the tabulator(s) will not accept the ballot. Which option will still allow the voter to use the tabulator at your voting location
    Place the ballot in the Clear Official
    manual p116-7
    Place the ballot in Door 3 Misreads
    manual p121
    Spoil the ballot and check the voter into voting using either a reissued ballot or the Accessible Voting Device
    manual p121
    None of the above
    manual p121
    27. Which of the following is NOT true about the Accessible Voting Device?
    The Poll Worker Card must remain in the machine while the voter is voting
    manual p106
    The size of the text on the screen can be made larger
    manual p106
    The device controller has braille on it
    manual p106
    The voter may vote in Spanish
    manual p106
    28. Which of the following is NOT a step in handling a challenged voter situation according to the Challenged Voter section of your manual?
    Call the hotline
    manual p90
    Call your troubleshooter
    manual p90
    Find your Challenge Procedures Special Instructions/Official Challenge list in your Supplies
    manual p90
    Have the challenged voter step out of line
    manual p90
    29. Which section of the manual has the steps for changing the paper roll in the tabulator?
    Set up the Voting Location
    manual p130
    The Equipment
    manual p130
    Election Night Only
    manual p130
    Poll Worker Information
    manual p130
    30. When assisting a voter in marking a ballot, which of the following should NOT be done?
    Two poll workers with different party affiliations assist the voter
    manual p20
    Mark the ballot indicating the voter’s choices
    manual p20
    Distinctly state to the voter the names of the candidates for each office or the written description of the propositions
    manual p20
    Assist the voter in deciding how to vote on each contest
    manual p20
    31. Voters may leave the voting location with their official ballot to study at home.
    True
    False
    32. A voter can check in and vote a standard ballot with only a valid Recorder’s Certificate.
    True
    manual p73
    False
    manual p73
    33. Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act requires that voters who need language assistance receive it at the polls and at every stage of the electoral process. Maricopa County is legally obligated to provide language assistance and materials in Spanish.
    True
    manual p8,23
    False
    manual p8,23
    34. Voters may wear clothing with political messages in the voting location.
    True
    False
    35. Poll workers may wear any attire to work at the voting location.
    True
    manual p12
    False
    manual p12
    36. A voter in plain clothes has entered the voting location with a holstered gun. What should you do? (Check all that apply.)
    Offer the voter the option to vote curbside
    manual p13
    Call 911
    manual p13
    Inform the voter that firearms are not allowed in voting locations
    manual p13
    Tell everyone in the voting location to get down because someone has a gun
    manual p13
    37. Which of the following are recommended when working with observers? (Check all that apply.)
    Ignore them as much as possible
    manual p17
    Use the observer information in your training manual to explain to observers what they can and cannot do before they begin observing
    manual p17
    If observers continue to break the rules after reminding them, contact the hotline
    manual p17
    If observers are not following the rules, politely remind them
    manual p17
    38. Which of the following are important to do when you have an upset voter? (Check all that apply.)
    Listen closely
    Respect personal space
    Stay calm
    Offer realistic choices
    39. When are wait times entered on the SiteBook? (Check all that apply.)
    Upon opening
    manual p71
    At regular intervals throughout each day as directed for that particular election
    manual p71
    Every two hours
    manual p71
    When your last voter has gone to the SiteBook
    manual p71
    40. A voter comes in stating she voted a provisional ballot in the voting location a few days ago and did not have any identification at the time. She is returning to provide identification. What should you do?
    Complete a Proof of Identification Form and place in the Completed Forms Envelope
    manual p109
    Give her a Pink Conditional Provisional Sites list and tell her to take her identification to one of these locations
    manual p109
    Call your troubleshooter or the hotline
    manual p109
    Tell her that her ballot will not count
    manual p109
    41. Which website can be used for voters to access a digital voter ID card?
    BeBallotReady.vote
    Training.Maricopa.vote
    Locations.Maricopa.vote
    Maricopa.vote
    This url leads to the digital voter ID, too. This is an error in the exam.
    42. HAVA stands for _________________.
    Help America Vote Act
    manual p8
    Hispanic American Vote Act
    manual p8
    Homeless Americans Vote Act
    manual p8
    None of the above
    manual p8
    43. How many times can a voter spoil a ballot before a provisional ballot is issued?
    2
    manual p112
    8
    manual p112
    3
    manual p112
    1
    manual p112
    44. Which of the following instances will NOT result in a provisional ballot being offered to a voter?
    A voter has already voted an early ballot that has been received and counted
    manual p107
    A voter has spoiled a ballot
    manual p107, p112
    A voter has insufficient ID
    manual p74
    A voter cannot be found in the SiteBook
    manual p74
    45. The media is within the 75-foot limit with their cameras. What is the best response?
    Politely ask them to move beyond the 75-foot limit signs
    manual p13
    Invite them inside to get better pictures and video of the voting location
    manual p13
    Yell at them to move
    manual p13
    Offer to be interviewed
    manual p13
    46. A voter arrives at 7:05pm on Election Day and is upset that she can’t vote. What can you do? (Check all that apply.)
    Address her concern by saying something like, “Unfortunately, the law says I can’t allow anyone to get in line to vote after the polls close at 7pm. What I can do is offer you the form to complete to get on the Active Early Voting List for future elections.”
    Validate her concern by saying something like, “I realize you’re frustrated. I’d be frustrated too.”
    Listen to the voter and be calm
    47. Which items must be returned to the receiving site at the end of Election Day? (Check all that apply.)
    Black ballot bag with voted ballots and results reports
    manual p124
    Tabulators
    manual p124
    Bubble pack with tabulator memory cards, zero and results reports, and keys
    manual p124
    Red and blue transport boxes
    manual p124
    48. A homeless voter has come into the voting location. What can you do to assist her in checking in on the SiteBook? (Check all that apply.)
    If she doesn’t stay at a homeless shelter, use the address of the nearest one
    manual p157
    If she stays at a homeless shelter, use that address
    manual p157
    Use the map on the SiteBook to identify where she sleeps and enter the numbers for the precinct and split
    manual p88,157
    49. A group of voters force their way into the voting location after 7:00pm and after all the other voters have left the voting location on Election Day. What is the best way to handle this situation? (Check all that apply.)
    Quietly ask one of your poll workers to call the hotline while you try to de-escalate the situation
    Force the voters out of the voting location
    Politely tell the voters the per statute the voting location is now closed
    Complain to the Marshall
    50. Two observers are grumbling that closing activities are taking too long, and they want to follow poll workers transporting ballots to the receiving site. What should you do?
    Kick the observers out of the voting location
    Say something like, “I’m sure you agree that we need to perform our closing activities properly. Perhaps you’d like to have a seat over there so we can concentrate.”
    Give them a job to do like breaking down voting booths
    Hurry up and try to finish the closing activities quicker
    51. Which poll worker is responsible for completing the Precinct Ballot Report?
    Clerk
    manual p153
    Inspector
    manual p153
    Marshall
    manual p153
    Judge
    manual p153
    52. Which item does NOT need to be secured in the inspector box each night prior to Election Day?
    Site badges
    manual p114
    Accessible Voting Device Poll Worker Card
    manual p114
    Wristlet with keys
    manual p114
    Misread ballots envelope
    manual p114
    53. Which task does NOT need to happen each night at the voting location leading up to Election Day?
    Restart application on the SiteBooks
    manual p114
    Clock out on the SiteBooks
    manual p114
    Shut down the Accessible Voting Device
    manual p113
    Bring in all signage
    manual p114
    54. When should inspectors begin working on their Closing Planning Worksheet?
    3pm on Election Day
    As early as possible on Election Day
    7pm on Election Day
    The first day at the voting location
    55. Which of the following does NOT go into the bubble pack?
    Wristlet with keys
    manual p133
    Pink zip bag with poll worker results memory cards from tabulator(s)
    manual p133
    Totals tapes #1 including zero reports
    manual p133
    Totals tapes #2 without zero reports
    manual p133
    56. What is the final step before heading to the receiving site?
    Remove the combo cable locks from the SiteBooks
    manual p124
    Call your troubleshooter
    manual p124
    High five all poll workers
    manual p124
    Pack up the voting booths
    manual p124
    57. When emptying the envelope drop box at end of Election Day, your clerks find loose papers. Where do these go?
    Black ballot bag
    manual p30-1
    Completed forms envelope and red transport box
    manual p30-1
    Bubble pack
    manual p30-1
    Misread ballot envelope and blue transport box
    manual p30-1
    58. Which door on the tabulator tub is used for misread ballots on Election Day?
    Door #1
    manual p30
    Door #2
    manual p30
    Door #3
    manual p30
    None of the above
    manual p30
    59. Which of the following intervals is correct for announcing the closing of the polls on Election Day?
    1 hour before, 30 minutes, 15 minutes before, and at 7:00pm
    manual p125
    2 hours before, 1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes before, and at 7:00pm
    manual p125
    1 hour before, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute before, and at 7:00pm
    manual p125
    1 hour before, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 minute before, and a 7:00pm
    manual p125
    60. Which of the following is NOT true regarding misread ballots?
    The Misread Ballots Envelope is placed into a blue transport box along with affidavit envelopes
    manual p127
    They are placed into the Clear Official
    manual p127
    They are resubmitted to the tabulator(s) before closing the polls on the tabulator(s)
    manual p127
    The count is written on the outside of the Misread Ballots Envelope and on the Precinct Ballot Report
    manual p127
    They are counted and placed into the Misread Ballots Envelope
    manual p127
     
  • LMHudson 4:12 pm on November 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Become a Poll Worker/Observer 

    Anyone can be a poll worker but observers must be nominated by a political party. In a general or primary election, Maricopa County hires nearly 1,000 temporary workers to assist in their downtown (MCTEC) operation and nearly 3,000 to assist in the polling locations. In the November 2020 general election, there were 175 manned polling locations (and 38 drop boxes). At MCTEC, jobs include signature verification, adjudication, warehouse work, affidavit envelope opening and ballot smoothing. The county needs couriers and tech support personnel to travel between locations. In 2022, the county will start employing pairs of couriers (so they can be of different party affiliations). In 2020 every polling location had a staff of 10 poll workers.

    It’s a real job to be a poll worker. You must work a full day (and Election Day is very long) and you cannot leave. You get paid (something like $13/hour). The county prefers people who can work the entire election rather than just Election Day, so the commitment is for many days’ work.

    Your job is to help people vote. The law says everyone gets to vote and the rules sometimes don’t make sense but if you accept the job, you must do it by the county’s rules. There is a hierarchy in the polling location. You may start as a clerk, the lowest position, and your job is to help the more senior staff even if they do not impress you. This kind of job attracts people who like seasonal work, and who may be otherwise unemployable, but the county rewards seniority.

    Nevertheless, if you wish to learn the mechanics of elections and observe actual practice, it is far preferable to be a worker rather than an observer.

    Here is a link to the entire Arizona Legislative hearing that was held at the Hyatt Regency on 30 November, 2020. There are several observers who testify to the futility of observing. I suggest you start with Les Minkus at the 7 hour, 20 minute mark.

    In the neighboring posts I try to reproduce a two day Premium Training course I attended at MCTEC in November 2021. The purpose of the course was to train inspectors and judges, the highest ranking workers in a polling location. Here is a searchable copy of the Manual. Here is video instruction. Here is the Final Exam. Here is a link to a county training video entitled “Life of a Ballot.” Here is the elections calendar through 2025.

    Please contact me at contact@southtempecivics.com if I can help you become a poll worker.

     
  • LMHudson 6:29 am on November 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Poll Worker Manual 

    Attached is the manual used in the Premium Poll Worker Training, a two-day class at MCTEC.

    Section 1. Introduction and General Information (pp 1-11)

    Section 2. Poll Worker Information (pp 12-25)

    Section 3. The Equipment (pp 26-35)

    Section 4. Set Up the Voting Location (pp 36-63)

    Section 5. Opening the Voting Location (pp 64-71)

    Section 6. Checking In (pp 72-90)

    Section 7. Updating Voter Registration (pp 91-99)

    Section 8. Voting (pp 100-112)

    Section 9. Nightly Closing (pp 113-114)

    Section 10: Election Day (pp 115-121)

    Section 11. Election Night Only (pp 122-143)

    Appendix (pp 144-157)

    Index

     
  • LMHudson 8:13 pm on October 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Kyrene ESD No. 28 

    We are being asked if we are willing to extend, for another 7 years, a property tax for the benefit of Kyrene School District. It is one of three we currently pay for the benefit of Kyrene. Tempe Union High School District also levies 3 property taxes, one of which is an override. Almost 2/3 of my property tax is for the benefit of district schools. Since the question may be answered Yes or No, it is misleading to say — as Kyrene does in their ‘Fact Sheet,’ here — voting Yes will not cost us any more. We can vote No and keep our money.

    This election is not only off-cycle — so turnout will be dominated by special interests like the teachers’ association — it is all absentee. The Recorder is mailing ballots to everyone even if they are not on the PEVL. We have many reports of multiple ballots received. (See the neighboring post on the PEVL.) It has been possible to put ballots in drop boxes since October 6. Most drop boxes are located in school district offices and are monitored by district personnel. If that were not enough, the ballot design makes it possible to read your vote through the sealed envelope with nothing more than a flashlight. (Hat tip to my genius friend Patty Porter, who reported this here.) These people are taking no chances.

    Here’s an illustration of what Patty discovered. There are only four ways to put the folded ballot in the envelope and they all put the ovals in a position where they can be seen with a flashlight.

     
  • LMHudson 5:49 pm on October 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on Kyrene 6-8 curriculum 

    I do not presently have any children in the Kyrene school district but I was nevertheless able to view some of their curriculum in the summer of 2020. You can, too. The main difficulty is that the courses do not have traditional textbooks. You have to make an appointment at the district headquarters and read the material the same way the kids do, on iPads. A member of staff — in my case, the head of curriculum — accompanied me and answered my questions. She was patient with me but the time is necessarily limited. I chose to skim a National Geographic interactive text on geography.

    None of my notes on the content will surprise you. The material is designed to be inclusive of all cultures. Hammurabi, not Moses, is the principal lawgiver, and there is no mention of the fact that he legislated classes of society, including slaves. According to these authors, there are four cultural “hearths:” the Egypt and the Tigris in Middle East, the Yellow River in China, and Oaxaca in Mexico. A listing of the civilizations in the Middle East does not include the Jews.

    As you would expect in an interactive text, there are loads of pictures and buttons to press. You can self-test. I did not see any text longer than a couple of paragraphs. If you did not have ADD before reading this material, it would induce it.

    Here is a photograph of the fiction assigned in grades 6-8. Notice what is missing: no Mark Twain, no Victor Hugo, no Charles Dickens.

    The Kyrene website guided me to this book, Civics & Economics. I was able to purchase it and read it on my own time:

    This book is by McGraw-Hill. No author would put his name on it. We learn that English settlers in America were just another group of immigrants in search of a better life. There is a consistent misrepresentation of our civics: no mention of consent of the governed, of separation of powers. Rather than citing sources, the authors rely on the phrases “others say” and “people say.” The section on economics does not mention division of labor. American economic success is due to cheap raw materials. Kids are encouraged to imagine what rights they are entitled to, and to demonstrate for them.

    No state law banning CRT is going to improve this. Textbooks are designed by the big global publishers, heavily influenced by the NEA. District schools simply buy them, no matter who is on the school board. (See the neighboring posts on proposition 208.) We need more charter and private schools and we need to support them using the Arizona Tax Credit.

     
  • LMHudson 4:36 pm on October 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Get off the PEVL! (And vote only on Election Day, even with an absentee ballot.) 

    Everything changed in November, 2020. We do not yet understand the exact mechanisms of the many vote frauds that were committed, but it is clear that many of the frauds required the insertion of fake, or illegal ballots. The aim was a narrow victory and required constant monitoring of the vote count so that just enough ballots would be added. If we vote at the last moment, it makes it harder for the bad guys to know how many ballots they need to print. Vote in person on Election Day if possible. If you vote by absentee ballot, return it on Election Day.

    You can remove yourself from the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) using the Recorder’s website. Navigate to Elections > Voter Registration Information > Register to Vote / Update Voter Registration > Online Registration > Voter Registration at which point you will have to authenticate yourself.

     
  • LMHudson 5:52 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Communicating with Arizona legislators by email 

    The best way is to use the portal at http://www.azleg.gov. Browse to either the Senate or the House, then to Members, and select the Representative you wish to communicate with. You will have to identify yourself with your Legislative District, which, for South Tempe, is 18. At the bottom of the form, there is a minor challenge to make sure you are not a spammer. Of course, the best evidence you are not a spamming robot is a personal note, written in your own words.

    Here is a note I wrote to all the Republican legislators on November 4.

    We have just had a special district election here in South Tempe — a school district override — that was all absentee. Recorders mailed ballots to everyone, regardless of their PEVL status, sometimes multiple times. It has been possible to drop ballots in collection boxes since Oct 6. Many of those collection boxes are sited in district school buildings. Until the final days of the election, if they were monitored at all it was by school district personnel. The ballot design made it possible to read the vote through the affidavit envelope with no more tools than a strong flashlight.
    The audit was little more than an expensive recount. My wife and I worked every day at the Coliseum at the paper examination
    tables, apparently for no result. How many illegal votes were cast is a question still unanswered. Many of you want to retire or seek different offices. Please do not leave our election system in this state. There is no more important issue than election integrity.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Fann on Sep 27. I sent copies to all the Republicans in the Senate and in the House.

    Dear Senator Fann,
    Thank you for the presentation on Friday. It is clear that we must abolish absentee voting. No one is ever punished for violating election law or defying subpoenas, so it is futile to write more laws to ‘improve’ what you describe as our ‘less than perfect’ voting system. That the two recounts roughly matched the county’s original count is irrelevant. What matters is who voted. We have seen overwhelming evidence that absentee voting permits voting by people who no longer live in Arizona and by phantoms who perhaps never lived here. It is stunning to realize, at the completion of the most complete audit ever performed, that examination of the signatures on the affidavit envelopes was never in the scope of the audit. Thank you for hiring Dr Shiva. His presentation was the highlight, and the best part of it was when he showed how many of the affidavit envelopes had been printed with the approval stamp underneath the signature box. Aren’t you curious where those envelopes came from? I think you need to follow Friday’s presentation with hearings.

    Here is a note I wrote to Senator Fann on June 29. I then decided to copy it to all the Republicans in the Senate.

    Dear Senator Fann,
    I am writing to urge you to keep the Senate in session for the results of the audit. I expect them to be shocking and I hope the legislators will be shocked into taking action to restore integrity to our elections. I understand you have the option of opening a concurrent special session now and then recessing it until the audit results are available.
    It would now be easy, also, to audit the other Arizona counties. I still have my blue t-shirt and would be happy to
    volunteer.

    I try always to be positive. Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in both houses on June 14:

    I am writing to tell you how grateful I am for the audit. You have assembled a marvelous group at the Coliseum. I think the people who designed these processes are geniuses. I have no great skill but, guided by the audit team, I have counted thousands of ballots and this week I began “paper examination,” the collection of forensic evidence. When a delegation from another state tours the audit, I am proud of Arizona.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all House Republicans on May 25. Some of the language was suggested by Senator Kelly Townsend, who now ranks in my esteem with Senator Borrelli.

    As an Arizona voter, I have lost all confidence in our election system. Please vote YES on SB1241 and the Kavanagh amendment to help secure future elections and restore Arizona voter confidence. Later, when we see the results of the audit, we can abolish mail-in voting and machine tabulation.

    Sometimes there is only one legislator to address. Here is an example of a note I sent to Senator Shope on May 24:

    Dear Senator Shope,
    I am writing to thank you for being a solid supporter of the Audit. I believe it will show the urgent need to (1) abolish mail-in voting, (2) do all counting by hand, in smaller precincts, and (3) cut Maricopa County down to size. Let me take the opportunity also to ask you to support what was called HB2190 when it was in the House, the bill to prevent vaccine passports. It is not hard to imagine how vaccine passports might be abused. Please kill the idea at its inception.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 30:

    Thank you for supporting the audit. Once we understand how thoroughly corrupted our election system is, I hope you will help build support for real reform. We must restrict absentee voting to cases of real need. I hope we can use the upcoming redistricting process to shrink the size of precincts to a size — 1,000 voters? — that permits hand counting.

    I sent the following to all the House Republicans:

    I don’t understand why the House has not called its own hearings to investigate the November election. None of the legislation before you matters until we restore integrity to our elections. I have sent this message to the Republican Senators:
    Thank you for supporting the audit. Once we understand how thoroughly corrupted our election system is, I hope you will help build support for real reform. We must restrict absentee voting to cases of real need. I hope we can use the upcoming redistricting process to shrink the size of precincts to a size — 1,000 voters? — that permits hand counting.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 15:

    Absentee voting is inherently corrupt
    It is easy to demonstrate that someone has figured out how to cast ballots on behalf of people who no longer live in AZ. Senator Ugenti-Rita’s proposal to begin cleaning up the voter rolls is too timid. I believe absentee ballots are inherently corrupt. Please begin the audit. Please make Jovan Pulitzer at least one of the auditors. I don’t believe you will detect the fraud if you merely sample the ballots or if you merely examine the scanned images.

    I sent the following to all the House Republicans:

    Absentee voting is inherently corrupt
    I sent the message below to Republicans in the Senate. Can you please help them? Please call for hearings into the November election.
    It is easy to demonstrate that someone has figured out how to cast ballots on behalf of people who no longer live in AZ. Senator Ugenti-Rita’s proposal to begin cleaning up the voter rolls is too timid. I believe absentee ballots are inherently corrupt. Please begin the audit. Please make Jovan Pulitzer at least one of the auditors. I don’t believe you will detect the fraud if you merely sample the ballots or if you merely examine the scanned images.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on March 1:

    it is essential to audit ALL the ballots
    My wife and I celebrated the unsurprising court decision that the Legislature is superior to any county. Were we premature? There are rumors that you might be content with a sample. Who could be trusted to select such a sample? Please audit ALL the ballots, and use the technique called kinematic artifact testing as it sounds like the best, if not the only way, of detecting fake ballots.

    I also sent a copy to all the House Republicans, with the added request that they be ready to call for hearings if the Senate falters. The best explanation of the current problem is in this video by Jovan Pulitzer, here. It is an odd format, rather repetitive. The essential message starts at about the 20 minute mark. His argument, I think, is there is no one who could be trusted to select a sample.

    Here is an example of a note I sent to all Republicans in the Senate on Feb 22:

    congratulations on passing SB1408
    Congratulations on passing SB1408. I will write to House members to urge them to take it up; however, I am very worried about the short remaining calendar. Is it possible for this session to end without a hand audit of the November ballots and seizure of the Maricopa tabulation machines? Will the Board of Supervisors have beaten the state Legislature? Will there be no hearings into the election?

    Here is the companion note I sent to all the Republicans in the House:

    please take up SB1408 and pass it
    I am writing to urge you to take up and pass SB1408 which has just passed the Senate. The bill is necessary but the real need is for the House Government and Election committee to begin hearings on the November election. I am very worried about the short remaining calendar. I hope it is not possible for your session to end without defeating the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and making a hand audit of the paper ballots and seizure of the Dominion machines irrevocable.

    Here is a link to SB1408. I think it is clever and I especially thanked Warren Peterson for writing it. It anticipates yet another dodge by the Maricopa County Superintendents who will claim, without this law, that some of the evidence needed for the audit cannot legally be provided. Once the bill has been taken up by the House, you can use the RTS system to urge its approval.

    If you want to address only the leadership, the key legislators are:

    • Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the House, who clearly does not want an audit
    • Karen Fann, President of the Senate, who I think is very wobbly
    • Warren Peterson, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
    • Michelle Ugenti-Rita, chairman of the Senate Government Committee
    • John Kavanagh, chairman of the House Elections Committee

    Another four who occupy key posts, but who need your encouragement: Vince Leach, Rick Gray, Paul Boyer, and T.J. Shope, all Senators.

    Here is an example of a note I sent Friday, 12 February. I addressed it to all the Republicans in the Senate except Paul Boyer.

    Thank you for voting to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt. I am very sorry the vote failed. I am worried about the calendar. How can you agree on legislation to reform the election procedures if you don’t know what happened? Aren’t hearings the best fallback? Please call for hearings into the November election.

    I don’t believe there is any reason why this is exclusively the job of the Senate, so I sent this note to all the House Republicans.

    The failure of the vote to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt I think means the Senate needs your help. How can you agree on legislation to reform the election procedures if you don’t know what happened? Please call for immediate hearings in the House into the November election.

    I may be unfair to the Democrats. I will search for a Democrat for whom election integrity is a non-partisan issue.

    You are certainly not limited to the issue of election integrity. I just don’t think anything else matters unless and until we make it impossible to steal the 2022 election. There is a mechanism that permits you to comment on individual bills, called Request to Speak (RTS). I describe it here.

    My personal hero is Sonny Borrelli, who represents Mojave and La Paz Counties. I asked him once what ordinary citizens who are not in his district could do to help, and he replied, “write to me and tell me what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong.”

     
  • LMHudson 5:51 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    How to use the Request to Speak (RTS) system 

    First, you must go physically to the State Capitol and register at one of the kiosks. Once you have done that, the RTS system will recognize you where ever you login from with your email address and password. You must do this once only. I would be happy to help you.

    Now, do your homework. Two good sources are Jose Borrajero’s People’s Lobbyist (http://www.azpeopleslobbyist.com) and the Arizona Civil Defense League (https://azcdl.org/). Sign up for their email alerts.

    Once you are registered and have a bill on which you wish to comment, browse to https://apps.azleg.gov/, select Request to Speak, and sign in. Suppose you are interested in HB2054. This bill would amend ARS 16-165 on page 2, line 24, by one word. Where ARS 16-165 presently says “The Secretary of State may compare the records of deaths with the statewide voter registration database,” HB2054 proposes to change “may” to “shall.” As of 12 February, there were 109 people writing in support and 466 writing against. Election integrity is a stunningly partisan issue and those who oppose it are very well organized. The members of the House seem not to have been impressed by the RTS ‘No’ votes. Yesterday this bill was passed out of the House to the Senate, 58-1, with only our own Jennifer Jermaine voting ‘No.’

    If you wish to express an opinion about a bill, browse (from the front page of azleg.gov) to Legislative Information>Request to Speak. Make a New Request and specify the bill.

     
  • LMHudson 5:49 pm on February 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Recalls 

    Recalls are hard because the law requires the number of signatures to be at least 25% of the number of votes cast. In November, 424,531 votes were cast in the District 1 Maricopa County Supervisors election, so 106,133 signatures are needed for recall. Since Jack Sellers won very narrowly, that is half the votes he received. No Democrats, to my knowledge, support election integrity, and all favor municipal subdivisions — counties and cities — over the state legislature, so all those signatures will have to be gathered either from people who did not vote in this race in November or from people who voted for Sellers and now regret it.

    The physical petition must be printed both sides on legal size paper and the signature collector must have his signature notarized. I can do both. If you want to sign, please contact me. I can also provide petitions for the statewide recalls of Governor Ducey, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and Kathy Hoffman, the State Superintendent of Schools.

    The organizers of this recall are here: https://wethepeopleazalliance.com/

     
  • LMHudson 2:26 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Chandler Question 1 

    There is no meaningful vote here. Southwest Gas is the monopoly provider. The only way to escape them is to go off grid. We must rely on the Arizona Corporation Commission to oversee their pricing.

     
  • LMHudson 2:13 pm on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    A further argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 208 

    The district schools were granted their monopoly in the hope they would produce good citizens. There is a lot of evidence — at the national level — that the teachers’ unions have turned or tried to turn the district schools into factories designed to produce social justice warriors. At their 2019 annual meeting, the National Education Association (NEA) rejected a motion here to “re-dedicate itself to the pursuit of increased student learning in every public school in America by putting a renewed emphasis on quality education.” The NEA went on to adopt motions including one to “incorporate the concept of ‘White Fragility’ into NEA trainings,” here, and “to push reparations” here. More on this topic here.

    The Arizona Education Association (AEA) is an affiliate of the NEA, and our local teachers’ associations such as Kyrene Education Association is an affiliate of the AEA. The Kyrene school district acknowledges the national controversy in their administrators’ blog, but says such things are not happening in Kyrene.

    What’s happening is more subtle. Kyrene’s governing board did not, like Tempe Elementary School District, adopt a resolution in favor of Black Lives Matter, but the district curriculum is nevertheless a choice that has been imposed on the families in the district without any real public deliberation. Arizona law requires Kyrene to expose its curriculum choices on its website for 60 days (science is there now, here), and parents and community members may view educational materials by appointment on the district premises. The governing board approves the curriculum in the following, very narrow sense: they are presented choices where the research is done by the staff. They approve if the material is within budget and within the vague guidelines (English Language Arts here, History and Social Science here) of the Arizona Board of Education. (There must be some reference to the Holocaust, for example.) Governing board members are not expected to read the material.

    It is hard to read, partly because it is mostly online. The big education publishers — McGraw-Hill, Savvas (once known as Pearson), National Geographic — provide interactive material, which is supposedly more engaging for kids than pages of text. Actual books –fiction –are assigned in Language Arts. They are exclusively modern works because they are chosen to reflect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

    Those values are not only the values of the Kyrene staff; they are imposed by the publishers. Here is an email to the Savvas national sales staff describing their goals:

    Savvas’ business is supplying the enormous school districts. They do not sell to small, independent schools. They want to sell the same product nationwide, and, thanks to the NEA, there is a big market for Culturally Responsive Learning (CRL). If a governing board member wanted his district to adopt a text like Wilfred McClay’s American history Land of Hope, the struggle would be hard.

    Kyrene provides a 20 minute video about their Social Studies curriculum here. The narrator describes Kyrene’s goal as creating global citizens.

    If each Kyrene school sought its own charter there might be a school devoted to CRL, and perhaps another devoted to anti-racist training. Parents might freely choose to send their kids to these schools. What is missing is choice. The best way to promote quality education in our neighborhood is to vote ‘No’ on Proposition 208 and use the Arizona Tax Credit to encourage more independent schools.

     
    • kimberhatt 9:31 am on October 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Good information. Thanks Lawrence

      Like

  • LMHudson 8:24 am on October 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils 

    This logic pulls us inexorably to the left. The sole requirement for receiving the endorsement of the Republican party is registration as a Republican. There must be a limit. We might sometimes actually be better off with elected officials who are known to be wrong, than those who deceive and betray us. It would force us to be more vigilant and to use the legislature to stop them from doing harm. It’s too dangerous to withhold a vote in a election for a legislator, but for some of the myriad governing boards we are asked to vote on, it is necessary to draw a line. In this election, I offer the county supervisors (see neighboring post) and the Kyrene School Board (see neighboring post) as examples.

     
  • LMHudson 2:46 pm on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Tempe Questions 1-5 

    We are being asked to approve $349 million of new general obligation (GO) debt, divided into five ballot questions for different budget purposes. The city provided this 20 minute youtube presentation, here. The proposed bonds are intended to fund the projects in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), here. The total program will cost $776 million over 5 years. Every four years, the City asks voters for the authority to issue bonds. It is not possible to relate the numbers for the proposed borrowing to the CIP. Our approval is needed to continue the ongoing process of borrowing and spending, so the five questions are really one.

    Four years ago, the last request for bond authority (for $254 million) passed 25,439 to 14,187. If you are uncomfortable with this process, merely withholding your vote is not an effective protest.

    Even if you value water pressure, paved streets, and police protection, there are two reasons to vote ‘No.’ First, the City has for years demonstrated an odd obsession with mass transit and it has stopped enforcing single family residential zoning (see neighboring posts, here, here, and here), possibly because our leaders believe we should all be encouraged to live more closely together. The CIP not only cannot be mapped to the proposed bonds, it is impossible to pick out, for example, mass transit-related projects, and oppose them. A ‘No’ vote, against all the bonds, is a protest against the neglect of the suburban neighborhoods.

    Second, the City carries a heavy load of pension debt and they should demonstrate that they have a plan for paying it. As of June 30 2019, the City had about $450 million of GO debt and $500 million of pension debt outstanding. (See page 34 of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) here.)

    The state limits the amount cities can borrow on a GO basis to a fraction of the property tax base and Tempe has unused GO debt capacity under that calculation. There are no limits on pension debt and the accounting is faulty.

    promiseamount recognized
    Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)108
    Public Service Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS)305
    Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB)79
    total492

    The two retirement systems are at the state level and have boards of trustees. If they are accountable to anyone, it will be the legislature.

    Pension debt differs from normal, bonded debt in that the liability must be estimated. Government organizations systematically cheat, choosing actuarial assumptions that understate the liability.

    The ASRS and PSPRS trustees assume that their investments will earn about 7.5% per year and that their future obligations can be discounted to the present at the same rate. If the trustees were to adopt actuarial assumptions from the private sector — say, Berkshire Hathaway’s assumptions (see page K-17 of their 2019 annual report, here) of 6% for earnings and 3% for the discount rate, the debt would be far greater, maybe more than 50% more. Both retirement systems publish their sensitivity to changes in their actuarial assumptions, on page 52 of the PSPRS CAFR, here, and on page 69 of the ASRS Annual Actuarial Valuation, here. Both systems estimate their sensitivity to a 1% change in assumptions to be about 10%. (The City, on page 108 of its CAFR, estimates the sensitivity to be higher, about 20%, so 10% may be a low estimate.) All the changes from their assumptions to private sector assumptions are adverse, totaling 5 1/2 percentage points. This suggests that the debt calculated under private sector rules would be at least 50-60% higher, or $700-800 million. Pension debt dwarfs the GO debt.

    Borrowers like the City of Tempe are fee-paying clients to the bond rating agencies, so their ratings always lag reality. AAAs can become Bs very quickly, but only after the market closes to the bonds. In an extraordinarily low-interest rate environment where all lenders are chasing yield, no one looks hard at credit risk. The cities of Prescott and Bisbee explored bankruptcy as a defense against their pension debt. Story here. Tempe is neither Prescott nor Bisbee, but in order to remain a premium credit, it must fund its pension debt more realistically.

    Of the modest contributions asked annually by the retirement systems, the cost is shared between the City and the police and fire employees about 6:1; ASRS employees pay half of the levy. If the retirement plans were funded according to private sector actuarial assumptions, employees might balk at paying more or demand raises to compensate. Either way, the City will have to find room in its budget for perhaps another $30 million annually, unpleasant but not impossible.

    A better solution would be to pay it off now. The City attempts to structure its GO debt so the cost of repaying it is in the same time period as the use of the asset. (A building that lasts 20 years will be funded with 20 year debt.) Applying that logic to pensions would require very nearly paying off the debt.

    A ‘No’ vote on these bonds is a request to the City to put its pensions in order.

     
  • LMHudson 5:01 am on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Special Health Care District 

    Here is a description of the race, between Mary Harden and John Farnsworth. Ms Harden is incumbent, a former nurse, and a great believer in public health. She is opposed by Mr Farnsworth, who is the brother of Eddie Farnsworth, who serves in the Legislature. Neither candidate, less than 3 weeks before the election, has published campaign material on the internet. If you search facebook for Mary Harden, you will find she is endorsed by the Arizona Nurses Association and Lauren Kuby.

    In 2014 the hospital system, then known as MIHS, sought voter approval for a $1 billion bond issue, to raise money to build new hospitals. Republican legislators (including Eddie Farnsworth) opposed what was called Prop 480–story here— but it passed 513,967 to 296,505 in an election in which 877,187 voted. Some members of the MIHS board also — in 2012 — opposed the bond issue and they were ousted in the 2012 election, story here. It is impossible for an outsider to know what happened — an excellent reason why governments should not run hospitals or any other service readily supplied by the market — but it seems possible that the MIHS wanted to build more hospitals and they engineered a board which would not interfere. Ms Harden began her service as a board member in the 2012 election.

    Whether or not you vote for a board member, please don’t forget to vote ‘No’ on Proposition 449. See the neighboring post.

     
    • azfamilylawtips 2:13 am on October 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      You did a fantastic job with this website!!! It was MOST helpful in deciding how to vote. I especially liked the deleted tweet, lol!!! thank you!

      Like

  • LMHudson 4:45 am on September 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Proposition 449 

    This proposal would extend an existing property tax for another 20 years, for the benefit of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District, also known as Valleywise Health, or County. We are also being asked, in November, to elect a member of the Board of Directors. There is also a 9 member Governing Council. None of these people is paid, and there is no reason to believe they have any real authority. Too much of our government consists of highly-paid staff supposedly governed by good citizens. The staff generally frame the questions and control the agenda. Accountability to voters is an illusion.

    The arguments for this proposition are here. Notable endorsers are Kyrsten Sinema, Paul Penzone, Reuben Gallego, and Corey Woods.

    In November, 2014, the Maricopa Integrated Health System (a previous name for Valleywise) came to us for approval of a billion dollar bond issue. The Arizona Free Enterprise Club opposed it. Their argument is here. The Club also opposes Proposition 449, but they have not so far written more than the list of their endorsements, here. The 2014 bond issue passed, with 513,967 ‘yes’ votes, and 296,505 ‘no’ votes. Withholding your vote is not an effective protest.

    Here is the latest Valleywise budget. In it, you will learn that their annual operating budget is about $600 million, of which about 60% is salaries and benefits. Most of their revenues come from Medicaid. Their employees, like district school teachers, belong to the Arizona State Retirement System, which is badly underfunded.

    Valleywise needs to explain better why they need our money, and why we need a public hospital system.

     
  • LMHudson 1:46 pm on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Court of Appeals, Division 1 

    Paul McMurdie has shown bad judgment on several occasions, such as Medicaid expansion and Prop 207 from 2006 (now ARS 12-1134). Samuel Thumma is a Napolitano appointee and an alumnus of Perkins, Coie, an extremely partisan Democrat law firm. These two should not be retained.

     
  • LMHudson 10:30 am on September 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for not voting in the Board of Supervisors 

    Adrian Fontes was in charge of county elections for the November 2018 election. He created so-called Emergency Voting Centers–without any legal basis– located in Democrat neighborhoods, and when the Republican party tried to get an injunction against counting the votes they collected, Fontes stripped off the outer envelopes and mixed the ballots with the others, making them impossible to identify. The following March, the Arizona Federation of Republican Women hosted a panel that included Steve Chucri, who represents District 2 on the Board of Supervisors (BOS). Mr Chucri told us that the real responsibility for running elections rests with the BOS, and that the job had been delegated years ago to the Recorder. Because of the Recorder’s behavior in the recent election, Mr Chucri promised us that the BOS would re-assume control of elections.

    Two years later, Mr Fontes is still largely responsible for elections. (See this neighboring post, and this one about how Fontes’ instructions live on, here.) The BOS has done almost nothing to reign in Mr Fontes. It was their responsibility. They acknowledged their responsibility and said that they had all necessary powers to fix the problem. They betrayed us and now they ask us to vote for them because their opponents are supposedly worse. None of the supervisors should be returned to office.

     
  • LMHudson 6:02 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Judges of the Superior Court 

    If, like me, you think all government activities become unaccountable over time and our county court system in particular has become a black box –try finding out how many jury trials there are–, our method of voting whether to retain judges is highly unsatisfactory. We are expected to vote based on these ratings by the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, which are based on surveys mostly of attorneys and witnesses. Only one of the 40 judges up for review has a rating that varies significantly from the others (Ms Gentry). The Commission distributed 102 surveys to attorneys, of which 27 were returned, and 827 surveys to witnesses, of which 52 were returned, so her score is based on the testimony of some individuals who got mad at her, maybe with reason, maybe without. We cannot know. A more positive review of the ratings system is here.

    Only two Superior Court judges have ever been rated unfit by the Commission. Story here, and here.

    Nevertheless, we vote, usually ‘yes.’ In 2018, all the Superior Court judges were retained, by an average margin of 2.5:1. The judge who came closest to being voted out got 459,288 ‘yes’ and 311,878 ‘no’ votes. In that election, nearly 1.5 million people voted in Maricopa County, so half ignored the second page of the ballot but half voted. Merely failing to vote is not an effective protest.

    The Legislature can change this system but they respond to votes, so we need to vote ‘no.’ Here are three ways of voting ‘no:’

    1. vote against retaining ALL the Superior Court judges, except the ones we have evidence are competent judges, in this case, Ms Marwil, and Mr Whitten. Mr Coury found the language of Proposition 208 to be misleading but he got overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court. Supporters of Proposition 208 are trying to oust him.
    2. vote against all those judges appointed by Democrat governors and those who once worked for Perkins Coie (an extremely partisan Democrat law firm). That logic results in a ‘no’ vote for Ms Gentry, as she was appointed by Governor Napolitano. The other ‘no’ votes are Bruce Cohen, Pamela Gates, Michael Gordon, John Hannah, Michael Kemp, Michael McCoy, Scott Minder, Karen Mullins, David Palmer, Timothy Ryan, and Christopher Whitten.
    3. The Democrat party here endorsed all but a few judges. If you vote exactly in the opposite fashion, you will come close to the results above.

    The Arizona Free Enterprise Club provides its judge endorsements here. They are surprisingly generous.

     
    • Heidi Will 9:49 pm on October 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate the information on judges. I’m confused about Whitten. Under #1 you say he’s competent, but in #2 you say he worked for Perkins Coie. Are you recommending voting for or against him?

      Like

      • LMHudson 6:37 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Judge Whitten was appointed in 2006, by Governor Napolitano. I don’t believe he has ever worked for Perkins Coie. If I knew nothing else about him, being appointed by a Democrat would disqualify him under crude rule #2; however, I know someone who has appeared before him in a difficult case and found him to be a fair-minded judge and that’s more important.

        Like

  • LMHudson 5:47 am on September 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    An argument for voting ‘No’ on Prop 207 

    This statute would essentially legalize marijuana for those over 21. The precise rules, such as the limit of 6 marijuana plants, don’t matter because once you take the police out of this business, the rules will become a kind of honor system. Here are the arguments for. Here are the arguments against.

    There are over 100 unique essays urging a ‘No’ vote. Some bear multiple signatures. The essays come from our Catholic bishops, our governor, many of our legislators, and from medical professionals, law enforcement, psychiatric counselors, and parents, people who have experienced the effects of marijuana on their children.

    There are 10 essays urging a ‘Yes’ vote, two from Chad Campbell, first in his capacity as the sponsor of this legislation, and a second one, in which he presents himself as a private citizen. (He is, in fact, an executive for the advocacy firm Strategies 360.) There are two essays from retired politicians predicting job creation by the marijuana industry. There is an essay from a lawyer lamenting harshness of the punishments under existing law. The rest are from commercial sellers of marijuana.

    Will Humble (director of Arizona Public Health Association, an advocacy organization) submitted the same essay under both ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ He predicts both costs and benefits.

    The recent book Tell Your Children, by Alex Berenson, makes two points:

    1. we have long experience of alcohol, but almost none with today’s high-potency THC.
    2. there is lots of evidence that, for some people, THC is a gateway drug, and for some, THC may cause violent, psychotic behavior.

    No one knows for sure what will happen if this legislation passes, but the most important thing to realize is that if it passes in this form, as a ballot initiative, bypassing the legislature, we cannot easily undo it or amend it if it turns out to be a mistake.

    To love thy neighbor as thyself means wanting good outcomes for your neighbors. There are no good outcomes in drugs.

    Vote ‘No’ on Proposition 207. If you think marijuana should be legalized, tell your representatives in the legislature.

    Here is a recent report from Colorado.

     
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