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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Mayors and Election Dates

My previous post on changing the date for mayoral elections in Phoenix has gotten some e-mail heat and the criticism have fallen into 1 of 2 general categories.

First, the idea of amending 16-204 and adding yet another date for elections bothers some as somehow wrecking the integrity of the electoral calendar. Please... if there is one thing that is not sacred in Arizona is the scheduling of election days. You haven't lived until you show up during your lunch hour to vote in a May school bond election and find that you have been the fifth person to show up, with the first three probably being the poll workers. I still remember Mayor Gordon's crocodile tears from last year's March bond election when the turn-out was only 15% and he wondered why turnout couldn't be like the good old days when it was 21%.

The question is when do you want to have the odd election date for the mayor's race? Do you want it to be the general election in September when there is actually something to decide or the occasional run-off election in January or February?

Second, a few people said that if people don't want to take the time and trouble to follow the mayoral campaign and then vote then that's fine, leave the election to voters who actually give a darn. I'm a little more sympathetic to this argument but I reject it because the focus is misplaced.

The question is not why people don't vote in September and May; rather the question is why they hold big elections at times of the year when they know people don't vote.