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Arizona's First Political Blog

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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Monday, July 16, 2007
Phoenix Mayoral Electoral Tsunami

There will be an election for mayor of Phoenix this September 11.

Please contain your excitement

Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the country, its mayoral election is two months away, and no one cares. Part of it is due to the fact that the incumbent, Phil Gordon, has a massive campaign fund and no serious opposition.

However part of it is due to the fact that it's July and the weather is oven-like with a chance of extreme baking. Not only is it too hot to pay attention but a nice chunk of town clears out in July and August. Of course that is all the more reason to have an important election in early September so that everyone can spend the summer paying rapt attention to politics.

The excitement shows as the 2003 mayoral election had the fantastic turnout of.... 21%

Is this is a satisfactory state of affairs? To hold elections for the top job n the biggest city in Arizona in the September of odd-numbered years? If you wanted to suppress voter interest and hold down turn-out, you couldn't design a better election calendar.

The official reason, or the reason I was told down at City Hall, was that the election is held in September so that a run-off election can be held in November, if needed. However the odds that such a run-off would be needed are outweighed by the fact that the early election date generates such miserable turn-out.

So here's my proposal...

First move the Phoenix city election to November. The let's go back and re-re-amend ARS 16-204 (yes we did just change it this year) and add one more provision; the option to have cities hold run-off elections in late January or mid-February following a November plurality. Rather than running an election in the stealthy heat of summer, we could actually have a real electoral campaign during the chilly 90-degree weather of autumn.