Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Most Votes Cast In Tucson Election Since 1999; Vote By Mail “A Good Start”

TUCSON - The recently held City of Tucson elections for Mayor and the City Council seats for Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 4, showed an increased turnout in the number of Tucson voters.

These elections were the first to use an all-mail ballot system, a proposal brought forward by Ward 5 Councilmember Richard Fimbres.

“When the Mayor and Council were discussing a proposal to change the hybrid system (voting by mail and polling place) of casting ballots in a city election to an all-mail ballot process, one of the points my office brought up was to have more people participate in the process by casting their votes,” Councilmember Richard Fimbres said. 

“In addition, the potential question of reducing costs, through less poll workers, renting of voting equipment and locations, were other factors on why this proposal was brought forward,” Fimbres added.

The primary election, held August 31, showed that 44,507 ballots were cast for candidates listed on the ballot for Mayor and for the Council seats for Wards 1, 2 and 4 respectively.  This was the most votes cast in a primary election since 1999, when 39,365 ballots were cast with contested primary races for both major political parties.

For the general election, 85,340 people cast ballots. In 2009, 74,168 people voted; in 2003, 77,857 people voted; and in 1999, 86,180 people voted.  In the 1999 election, in addition to the four political contests, Tucson voters considered an initiative dealing with CAP water.

"This election showed that an all vote-by-mail process is a good start to get more people active, involved and casting their votes for City of Tucson elections," Councilmember Richard Fimbres said.  "The increase in the numbers of ballots cast speak for this system to continue to be used for future City elections."