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  • LMHudson 4:12 pm on July 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Another view of the August 2, 2022 primary ballot 

    by Toby Duffell

    If, like me, you have received a Voter Education Guide you may be wondering how to become educated as a voter. Well, it won’t be through reading the guide, which is a bit like going down for the third time in warm maple syrup while being shouted at by a lady with blue hair (no offence, mom). Every one of the candidates wants to be everything you want. Vote for me.

    So, as a Precinct Committeeman, I felt that it is important to be able to make sensible recommendations to our constituents as to how we might win.  As a walk-away Democrat I can tell you that such advice was commonplace and was provided to me whether I wanted it or not. This was how to vote strategically, my Dear Leaders told me. So, having seen the light, I turned to the Chair of LD 12 and was eagerly looking forward to a reply that would help me make the best of my vote and those in my district. However, LD 12 has chosen to implement by-laws that prevent any recommendation or advice being given at this stage of the voting. Is it because the Republican party is too impartial, noble, and above the fray? Good luck with that.

    As a result, here are some observations based on talking with better-informed patriots than me and a search of the internet, where everything that it published there is true or it would never show up. I make no claims as to accuracy or completeness of knowledge, or even intelligence, but you’ve got to start somewhere. As follows:

    Governor

    It seems that Scott Neely and Paola Zen can be discounted because they do not appear to have any traction, meaning, they are peripheral candidates and a vote for them would be wasted as it would not change anything. The two giants to consider are therefore Karrin Taylor Robson and, of course, Kari Lake. Ms. Lake is polished, telegenic (she was a TV news anchor), appears to be quite frank, and is endorsed by 45 although it seems The Donald has done so because she thinks the last election was in some way tampered with (really?). And more than three-quarters of AZ Republicans would back Trump. That said, being endorsed by 45 hasn’t been pivotal for his picks. Against Ms. Lake is that she has down-played her liberal past, but it is a human right to be allowed to change one’s mind and grow in outlook. But there seems to be too much ammunition lying around which her Democrat opponents will be quick to use if she becomes the nominee. (Source: NBC online article GOP race for Arizona governor becomes 2024 proxy war)

    Now Governor Ducey has endorsed Ms. Taylor Robson and, in this setting, perhaps the view of a less flamboyant Republican will help woo those more moderate and even Independents given our current purplish appearance – choosing Lake might result in a win next month that goes no further. Advantage Robson.

    Secretary of State

    Mark Finchem seems to be the most electable. He is also truly hated by AZ Central (the on-line presence of the supremely reliable and impartial AZ Republic, which is currently flirting with a sub-100,000 circulation numbers for its daily edition). So that can’t be a bad thing, then, can it? Add to this that he is disliked by the Phoenix New Times and even the British Guardian newspaper, so a lot of the thinking has been done for you – if they hate him, they consider him a real threat and with true potential.

    Finchem can be accused of some dumb moves, including his sympathy for the January 6th rioters. But he seems to have tapped into the concerns of everyday moderates including teachers proselytizing schoolkids for their political choices and promoting advanced self-criticism and racial division to the detriment of such mundane and dull topics as the Three Rs.

    He isn’t the ideal candidate but seems the best of the bunch. All he needs is Sam Elliott to endorse him and he’s a shoo-in.

    Attorney General

    Abraham Hamadeh is seen by my conservative friends as truthful, a scarce commodity in the current environment. I actually met him, and he seems engaging, with a sharp mind, and switched on. Like me, he is a first-generation American, but unlike me, has served this wonderful country in the Armed Forces. He has publicly wondered why churches, schools and small stores were closed while big-box stores remained open, he seems to cherish independence and freedom, and vowed to go after the cartels that bring drugs into our community and treat them as terrorists. By the way, in case Abraham is imprisoned for mildly protesting anything (I’m looking at you, Gavin Trudeau), consider Tiffany Shedd.

    Step forward the chief opponent from the dark side, Kris Mayes. No opinion on the cartels in her campaign statement. She believes in teaching critical race theory, that school-age children should be given sex-change surgery on demand, that police funding is best diverted to social programs, opposes immigrants learning English and is against a border wall. Nothing to see here, move along. (Source: isidewith.com)

    State Treasurer

    Kimberley Yee already does the job and has been endorsed by almost the entire State Senate, or so it seems, with Barry Goldwater added in for good measure. A strong believer in mathematics, Kimberly has made just about every financial parameter we care about (investment, government assets, taxes) change in the right direction. She is a conservative Republican – pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-law enforcement, pro-school choice, and wants to see civics, free market economics and finance as a component of education, along with American history and capitalism. She’s a smart, driven, Asian-American tiger mom with access to a rifle. Watch out, Martin Quezada . . .

    Superintendent of Public Instruction

    Just when you were thinking I had nothing but nice things to say about the candidates with an “R” after their name, consider Michelle Udall. In her case the R seems to stands for RINO, having voted to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens and against the voucher system to provide parents with a choice of where to have their kids educated. Writing as a person who came here legally, I didn’t think I would be expected to pay for the education of the families of those who didn’t. But it’s not all clear-cut – on other touchstone issues she she’s pretty straightforward. (Source: isidewith.com)

    But Step forward Shiry Sapir, Tiger Mom On Fire – When the 100% accurate AZ Central has to use words like “suspicion”, “accusation” and “rhetoric of grooming” to criticize her you know they’re worried and she’s on the right track. Along with quoting left-wing firebrands in education who are passed off as impartial academics, Sapir is described as using inflammatory phrases like “Children belong to parents and families, not the government”. Gosh. How wrong is that, comrade. So yes, I’ll be voting for Ms. Sapir.

    Corporation Commissioner

    You get to vote for two in this particular race.

    Kevin Thompson was written about by the impartial AZ Republic but against their better judgement had to report that he is actually interested in a secure and reliable energy grid. Their favorite, Lauren Kuby, proposed single-use plastic bags, climate activism (so successful in California) and bold, empathetic justice for families and people of all genders. My choice: Keeping the lights on (and the A/C running) for seven million Arizonans.

    Thompson comes as a package with Nick Myers. For his part, Myers seeks to limit commission decisions and make them accountable to the Arizona Supreme Court.

    Because unbiased information on the Corporation Commissioner hopefuls is somewhat limited on the web, perhaps it’s best to see which large groups with a vested interest in the welfare of the state have endorsed. Kuby and her partner are endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of Arizona, the leading statewide LGBTQI advocacy organization, a connection that is hard to make with electrical energy cost and reliability. Thomson and Myers are endorsed by the AZ Police Association, Mesa Police Association, and the Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona, among others. (Source: azgoldentickets.com)

    State Senator – District 12

    Suzanne Sharer seems to be the most sensible candidate in a field that a satirist (not me, of course) might paint as including a nut job and a RINO. Sharer is a long-time resident of her neighborhood, and has been hugely active in local affairs for most of her adult life, and seems well-versed in the issues. She is in favor of a southern border wall in AZ, wants to keep AZ business-friendly – with no new taxes – and is justifiably skeptical of what our children are being taught. She wants to ensure that education funding actually makes it to teacher salaries and classrooms and favors school choice for parents. She kindly spoke with me and the overall impression is a reasonable, stable candidate and someone who is committed to the place where she lives. So, amidst all this cynical patter from me, here is something genuine: Suzanne Sharer is our best hope for a Senator who has the ability to work with others, and do some real good for the state. By the way, she has just been endorsed by Kari Lake.

    Back to being cynical, candidate Mitzi Epstein (D) appears to have an ultra-hard-left following whose tweets have caused a national shortage of exclamation marks, including one who posts a picture of “Lock Him Up” written in ketchup on the sidewalk. The clinical significance of this is not yet fully understood but would appear to present some concerns. Ms. Epstein seems to be cast from the same mold as Jennifer Adams, who I find a little scary (see the AZ Central article on her interactions with the City of Tempe HR department) Accuser and accused: Tempe council candidate had several run-ins while working for city). I had the opportunity to observe Ms. E. several years ago when she ran an HOA, and after first contact the real estate agent suggested we look at houses elsewhere . . .

    David Richardson is something of a mystery. It is not clear why he has entered the race and does not seem to have supported fellow Republican candidates. His background includes CEO of bioSyntagna which develops Covid testing product, which might make one wonder about how he might vote on such issues, and his Twitter account shows him following Melinda Gates.

    State representative – District 12

    Here we get to choose both Jim Chaston and Terry Roe. Something of a no-brainer except that it’s important to know that the unassuming-looking Terry Roe is a 20-year veteran of the Arizona Police, has served on the board of the Salvation Army and the board of the Phoenix Silent Witness Program.

    Jim Chaston is similarly middle-of-the-road, and his background in accounting seems to have taught him that maths isn’t racist. Jim appears to be moderate, reliable and not a firebrand who wants to “reimagine accounting”.

    In Conclusion

    I make no claims to be politically astute. But researching this article has required me to look at the political scene. A few things I have learned:

    1. The AZ Republic is not a newspaper. It is the agitprop mouthpiece of the left where opinion is expressed as fact. It has a panel of lefty academics and others on tap whom they cite as impartial, credible and authoritative sources. But even the simplest of searches reveals the backgrounds of these supposedly impartial commentators.  Except that no-one ever bothers to look.
    2. Opinion in AZ is presented as news. But the folks with the microphone are no better than you. At the best they provide content to get you to look – and then consume the “important messages from our sponsors”. At worst they provide a biased, sectarian POV in furtherance of the sinister cause of who is behind them.
    3. If the Rs win it won’t be because they have all the outlets covered.  The Ds have already done that.
    4. There is a battle for America. The Ultra Left want to wrest authority from parents and ordinary people like you and me to the state. This is a culture war, not an Arizona mid-term, and is far more serious than you think.

    Good luck, and may God Bless America. I feel sorry for you, because, if it all falls apart here, I can go back to Europe. You literally have nowhere else to go.

     
  • LMHudson 7:45 am on July 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Primary ballot August 2, 2022 

     
  • LMHudson 6:59 am on June 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Primary election August 2, 2022 

    The main purpose of this blog is to try to help our neighbors with difficult ballots. That is easier when the ballot question is merely obscure, like a bond issue by the Maricopa Health Authority. After November 2020, we doubt any election conducted by mail and counted by machine.

    This primary is particularly difficult. Lots of good Republicans are running. It is nearly impossible to choose between them. I am also painfully aware of the huge blunders I have made in the past. In both August and November 2020, I supported Stephen Richer and Eddie Cook. I gave money to Richer and helped Cook with his signs. Yet we must continue to try to vote, to overwhelm the evil with the sheer numbers of our votes.

    Here is my ballot. I will submit it as late as possible, partly to foil the bad guys, partly to be able to change my vote in case one of these people does something dumb. Below are my arguments. I hope this helps someone. Here is an image of the ballot.

    1. US Senate: Blake Masters
    2. US Congress, District 4: Kelly Cooper
    3. Governor: Kari Lake
    4. Secretary of State: Mark Finchem
    5. Attorney General: Abe Hamadeh
    6. Superintendent of Public Instruction: Shiry Sapir
    7. State Treasurer: Bob Lettieri
    8. Arizona Corporation Commission: Nick Myers and Kevin Thompson
    9. Arizona Senate District 12: Suzanne Sharer
    10. Maricopa County Attorney:

    US Senate: The worst possible outcome of this primary is to select Mark Brnovich. Primaries are won by plurality and four acceptable Republicans are splitting the anti-Brnovich vote. We must get behind someone and Trump endorsed Masters.

    US Congress: District 4 is supposed to be a Democrat district. The Republican party therefore encourages candidates who will appeal to Democrat voters, because they are ‘moderate.’ What is the point, though, of sending someone to Washington who will betray you? I prefer Jerone Davison but here, too, it is necessary to get behind someone who can stop the moderates. Kelly Cooper has some good endorsements, including Kari Lake’s.

    Governor: Kari Lake has guts. She has taken on fights that she could have avoided. In particular, she has backed draconian reforms of our election system, like HB2289 (one day, no machines), while the other candidates squirm when asked about election integrity. Perhaps she was Saul. She is now Paul.

    Secretary of State: This post is the chief election officer of the state. Mark Finchem has done some dumb things (like support the National Popular Vote) but he has been a fairly reliable advocate of the right kind of major election reform.

    Attorney General: The experience of November 2020 inverts the rules. I am averse to candidates who appear to enjoy the support of the establishment, to those who have money, and even to those who are running on their experience. I believe Abe Hamadeh is the one most likely to punish the people who have stolen our elections. He is endorsed by Trump, Rand Paul, and Rick Grenell.

    Superintendent of Public Instruction: Shiry Sapir has school-age children. She understands the evil that infects the district school system.

    State Treasurer: There are no bad candidates here. Bob Lettieri has the best claim to being an outsider.

    Arizona Corporation Commission: Two seats are open in November. Myers and Thompson have the endorsement of Jim O’Connor and Justin Olson.

    Arizona Senate: District 12 is supposedly a Democrat district, so it is hard to get Republicans to run and those who do often think their job is to be moderate. David Richardson is an acolyte of Rusty Bowers. He won’t take a position on election integrity for fear of being divisive. There is no more important question for a legislator.

    Maricopa County Attorney: To get on the ballot, both of these women had to declare that they saw nothing wrong with the November 2020 election. Do we vote for the one we think was lying? If we win back control of our elections, this is a good example of a race that just clutters our ballot and makes them harder to count. The winner of this election is more accountable to the Board of Supervisors than to any voters.

     
    • Rosswell Olson 9:30 pm on July 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Lawrence (spelling?) for your insightful comments and thoughts that you shared with me this afternoon

      Like

  • LMHudson 6:45 am on April 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    The contract between the Maricopa County Recorder and the chair of the Republican party, Mickie Niland 

    I campaigned for the post of Member-at-Large in the fall of 2021. I wanted all PCs to benefit from access to the voter data provided by Maricopa County under ARS 16-168. The chairman of the Republican party, Mickie Niland, warned me that doing so would violate a contract between her and the county. She would not show me the contract, so I used the Arizona Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to request the contract from the county. The county said there was no contract.

    On Wednesday afternoon (April 27), the county changed their mind and sent me a copy of the contract, reproduced below.

    Here is the email thread between me and the county.

    The followup questions include:

    1. What are the consequences to the county for lying in response to a FOIA request?
    2. Why is such a contract needed when there is ARS 16-168? Does the Republican party give up rights it has under statute? If so, in return for what consideration?
    3. Why is this contract secret?
    4. Why is there no contract between the county and the Democrat party?
    5. Why did the county change its mind about the existence of this contract?
     
  • LMHudson 2:15 pm on April 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Post-mortem on the SRP April 2022 election 

    This is a good example of tactical voting. In 2020, Greg Patterson entered the race for At-Large Seat #11, previously between Chris Dobson (Keep the Flow) and Anda McAfee (SRP Clean Energy), representing himself as a conservative. He split the conservative vote, giving McAfee the seat. Total votes were 5,536. McAfee won with 48.6%.

    This time Greg entered the race for Council Seat 8, unendorsed by Keep the Flow, and without any apparent program, except to represent himself as a conservative. Total votes were 1245.2, of which Greg received 230.4. Had his votes been distributed among the 3 Keep the Flow candidates, the lowest vote-getter, Scott Andersen, would have been elected. Instead, thanks to Greg, Mark Mulligan (SRP Clean Energy) won one of the 3 Council seats.

    John Huppenthal did the same thing in the race for the SRP Association Board Seat 8. Total votes were 608.91. Huppenthal got only 23%, but he caused Randy Miller, the SRP Clean Energy candidate, to win, with 40% of the vote.

    Please remember Greg Patterson and John Huppenthal, in case they strike again.

     
  • LMHudson 12:43 pm on March 18, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    SRP ballot 5 April 2022 User’s Association 

     
  • LMHudson 2:02 pm on March 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    SRP ballot 5 April 2022 Power District 

     
  • LMHudson 1:58 pm on March 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    SRP Regular Election April 5, 2022 District 8 

    President:

    Woods, Keith BREPwoodsdobson.com
    Rousseau, DavidINDrousseauhoopesforsrp2022.com

    Vice-President:

    Hoopes, John R. “Randy”nonerousseauhoopesforsrp2022.com
    Dobson, Christopher JREPwoodsdobson.com

    Seat 12:

    O’Brien, Krista Hnonesrpcleanenergy.org
    Flores, Victor MDEMfloresforsrp.com

    Seat 14:

    Mohr-Almeida, Kathy LDEMsrpcleanenergy.org
    Biggers, Garvey MREPgarveyforsrp.com

    District Board:

    Hendrickson, Deborah SREPkeeptheflow.net
    Huppenthal, John FREP
    Miller, Randy JDEMsrpcleanenergy.org

    District Council:

    Farmer, Mark LREPkeeptheflow.net
    Mulligan, MarkDEMsrpcleanenergy.org
    Patterson, GregREP
    Pedersen, Mark CREPkeeptheflow.net
    Andersen, Scott GREPkeeptheflow.net

    The SRP is in play because the large land-owners are increasingly real-estate developers and the environmentalists see it as a prize. Note the high correlation between party affiliation and slate: keeptheflow are all Republicans; srpcleanenergy almost all Democrats. None of us have any real visibility into these candidates, but the slates and the party affiliations are a useful guide. I choose to vote for Republicans and keeptheflow. Because srpcleanenergy endorses Woods and Dobson, I will vote for Rousseau and Hoopes. See the example ballots for the Power District and the User’s Association, here and here.

     
  • LMHudson 3:55 pm on February 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Tempe Special Election March 8 2022 

    There are six council members. Half stand for election every two years. Municipal government is supposedly non-partisan. The party affiliations of the 3 members who are not standing for elections are:

    Doreen GarlidDEM
    Randy KeatingDEM
    Joel NavarroDEM

    Mayor Corey Woods is also a DEM.

    The party affiliations of the seven candidates for city council are:

    Jennifer AdamsDEM
    Arlene ChinDEM
    Casey ClowesDEM
    Berdetta HodgeDEM
    Gina KashREP
    Harper LinesDEM
    John SkeltonIND

    As fast as Ms Kash puts up her signs, they are torn down. I participated in organizing a meeting to introduce her to South Tempe residents, using eventbrite.com. We offered 40 free tickets. Within minutes of posting the ad, someone claimed all 40 tickets, causing the event to disappear. Can we guess that Ms Kash threatens the city government in ways that none of the other candidates do?

    This is an all-mail-in election, the type our Recorder, Stephen Richer, calls ‘boring.’ Since Feb 9, two drop box locations have been available: one in Tempe City Hall, available during office hours, and one at 510 S Third Ave, outside MCTEC, available 24/7 and watched only by a camera. I reported this in an earlier version of the blog: ‘A neighbor who has not yet voted reported receiving a text notification from the county saying that her ballot had been received and counted.’ I now believe there is a benign explanation for that. You can sign up for text notifications here: textsignup.maricopa.vote

    The ballot is simple, with seven names. Ballots like this can be read in their envelopes with a strong flashlight. If you vote only for Ms Kash, as I did, it is evident without opening the ballot. Perhaps this makes it a ‘transparent’ election?

    Here is a discussion of tactical voting, called ‘single-shot’ in this case. If your concern is that someone might steam open the envelope and add two votes, use the write-in lines to fill in two more bubbles.

    Here is the ballot. Other precincts will have a different ordering of names, but the precinct code, which gives the order, is printed on the outside of the envelope. Please cast your vote at the last minute. If you bring it to Tempe History Museum already sealed in its envelope, there should be a minimal line.

    Here are links to the candidates’ websites and facebook pages:

    Jennifer Adamshttps://www.jenniferfortempe.com/https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009988600199
    Arlene Chinhttps://www.arlenefortempe.com/https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=arlene%20chin%20for%20tempe
    Casey Cloweshttps://www.clowesforcouncil.com/https://www.facebook.com/casey.clowes
    Berdetta Hodgehttps://www.hodgefortempe.com/https://www.facebook.com/berdetta.hodge
    Gina Kashhttps://www.ginakash.com/
    Harper Lineshttps://www.harperlinesfortempe.com/https://www.facebook.com/harperlinesfortempe
    John Skeltonhttps://www.skeltonfortempe.com/https://www.facebook.com/SkeltonForTempe

    There have been three candidate fora, all in zoom format:

    January 12, 2022. Two hours. Sponsored by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Republic.

    January 19, 2022. Two hours. Sponsored by the North Tempe Neighborhood Association and moderated by the League of Women Voters.

    Feb 2, 2022. 90 minutes. Sponsored by Arizona Forward.

    This blog started because the city ignored its own zoning laws to protect a rooming house in an otherwise single family residential neighborhood. It calls itself South Tempe to distinguish it from the increasingly urban and dysfunctional north. Two years ago, when the mayor and the other half of the council stood for election, I couldn’t find anyone to vote for. Bill Baxter voted for Corey Woods in order to vote against Mark Mitchell.

    Municipal government is supposed to concern itself with basic services like public safety and zoning. Tempe has its own policies for climate change and homelessness. Here is an example of how they work together.

    Toby Duffell has written several articles about our misgovernment and published them on Nextdoor, where he complains of being censored. I reproduce them here, with his permission:

    The insurance the city wants to sell us to protect our water lines.

    WARNING — Tempe Public Opinion Survey

    Crime in Tempe

     
  • LMHudson 3:17 pm on February 27, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Crime in Tempe 

    originally published on Nextdoor. Contributed by Toby Duffell. Reproduced here with his permission.

    Toby has found 3 sources of crime data, all of which are unflattering to north Tempe:

    https://crimegrade.org This source reports 89 crimes per 1,000 residents for the 85281 zipcode.

    Orange worst, green best

    https://neighborhoodscout.com This source reports 48 crimes per 1,000 residents for all of Tempe, still higher than the national average. It is, unfortunately, behind a paywall.

    http://www.city-data.com Their index is not comparable to the measures above. They measure crime in Tempe at 329, compared to a national average of 270.

    This data shows that crime in Tempe is bad, but not a new problem

    The City of Tempe reports crime statistics for 2018, 2019, and through August 2020. Their numbers show declining rates of crime but there is no comparison to other cities. Here is the link.

     
  • LMHudson 2:26 pm on February 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    WARNING — Tempe Public Opinion Survey 

    originally published on Nextdoor. Written by Toby Duffell. Reproduced here with his permission.

    Like others in the area, I received a text from “Ana” at Montana Research asking for my political views. It came from an 844 area code, which conceals the actual location, according to websites that discuss telemarketers. The questions seemed to be testing a marketing strategy as to how the respondent’s opinion could be changed in favor of having candidates represent fractions of Tempe, instead of all of it. The survey asked a question, then presented an opinion about breaking up the voter map, then asked the same question again. The cycle was repeated several times for different positions. Montana Research appears to be a shopfront for Change Research (see their Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Change_Research) who present themselves as an agent to develop “winning strategies”. Like you, I imagine you are never troubled much about being asked to give your opinion. But like me, I imagine you do not care for being used as a marketing guinea pig under the guise of an opinion poll. To follow the money and find out if we Tempe taxpayers are paying for this I asked the Change Research. I will update if they reply, although this was four days ago. But it does seem that we are being tested for acceptance of a change in voter representation. If a Tempe politician is doing this it would seem more honest if they simply asked us outright. Also, if the Mayor or Councillor Jennifer Adams respond to this, perhaps they might advise if they are seeking to shape opinion, rather than measure it, and if Tempe taxpayer money is being used, and how much. Attached are some screen shots and excerpts. +++ Please note – This is not a partisan message of any kind. Instead a warning about a pollster not being what they might seem to be, trying to shine a light on the tactics used, who is employing them, and if we are unknowingly paying. +++

     
  • LMHudson 11:29 am on February 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Maricopa County Elections calendar 

     
  • LMHudson 11:03 am on February 26, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    City of Tempe Special Election ballot 

     
  • LMHudson 3:08 pm on February 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    A note on the insurance Tempe tried to sell us to protect against breakage of our water lines 

    Contribution by Toby Duffell, reproduced with his permission from NextDoor

    WARNING! To any one considering the Tempe Service Line/SLiPP payment plan.

    Like most Tempe residents, we received a solicitation to insure against breakage of our water line. This will replace the current SLiPP program that insures against sewer line breakage which I have heard elsewhere on ND that Tempe is abandoning, like other services. This replacement program is supposed to insure you in the event of a loss of the water service into your home as well as sewer line breakage. However, the limit the insurers will cover is 30 pounds per square inch (PSI). I called the insurer to check, and yes, they confirmed that it ONLY covers water pressure up to 30 PSI. Given that the pressure Tempe delivers is about 60 PSI, or twice as much again, the insurance is valueless. The representative was uninterested in my telling them that the usual water pressure was more than the (very low) limit they had set. Remember, that an insurer looks for a reason not to pay when receiving a claim, and Tempe’s delivered water pressure is way over the limit insured. I challenge anyone on the City leadership to chime in with a reply – perhaps Jennifer Adams, whose election canvassing literature states that she loves solving problems. In the absence of this, I advise against the program. +++Note for Engineers: I am a licensed engineer, with more than 40 years of experience. I used a Westwood diaphragm manometer to measure static water pressure (no draw) at our home on December 17th. The gauge read 60 PSI. Even allowing for a +/-20% measurement accuracy, that indicates a minimum delivered pressure of 50 PSI, about 170% of the limit the insurance will cover.+++

     
  • LMHudson 3:39 pm on January 30, 2022 Permalink | Reply  

    Democrats get disproportionate share of Maricopa County temporary poll-worker jobs 

    Democrats count for only 30% of registrations in the county but may have over 60% of the temporary poll-worker jobs.

    In three recent elections — the August 2020 primary, the November 2020 general, and the November 2021 district elections — Maricopa County hired nearly 3,000 temporary workers to staff the polling locations. There were only 2,124 unique hires because some people were hired more than once. Of those, 1,001 (47%) were registered Democrat when they worked. Another 286, in the past decade, were either registered Democrats or asked for Democrat primary ballots, bringing the share of probable Democrats to 61%.

    reported partyrecently DEMprobable true affiliationshare
    DEM1,0012861,28761%
    GRN22
    IND95-56392%
    LBT11111%
    PND329-1621678%
    REP686-6861829%
    total2,1242,124

    I will examine the nearly 1,000 temporary workers hired to work at the downtown counting center (MCTEC) in another post.

    (My source material for this post is (1) a recent FOIA request I made, and (2) county election data provided under ARS 16-168.)

     
  • 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 

    Observations as of the City of Tempe Special Election for March 8, 2022 for a polling location:

    • no vaccination requirement
    • masks, face shields, and gloves are now optional
    • to be inspector, 2 days of in-person training at MCTEC required
    • all workers trained in person for 3 hours at MCTEC
    • one hour of on-line training required
    • workers get paid (about $13/hour) for training

    For work at MCTEC, no training seems to be required. The minimum time commitment may be 2-3 weeks.

    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.

     
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