Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Extremely Low Voter, Primarily Partisan Turnout Gives Oro Valley Incumbents Win

34% of Oro Valley's 27,113 eligible voters set Oro Valley's leadership course through 2018 by reelecting Oro Valley's 4 incumbent officials to office. 

Voters elected incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath over challenger Patrick Straney by a 61%-39% margin.

Incumbent Council Member's Hornat, Sniders and Waters outpolled challenger Don Bristow.  Bristow received 17% of votes cast.   His vote total trailed his closest competitor, Council Member Joe Hornat, by 1,900 votes.

We believe that the election result is the result of when the election was held and not because of any sweeping electorate mandate.

The election was remarkable in that voter turnout was exceptionally low.

Only 12% of Oro Valley's 12,769 poll eligible voters voted.  

Only 54% of those who received mail-in ballots bothered to vote.

In the 2010 Mayoral election, 14,766 votes were cast. In this election, 9,263 votes were cast.  That is a difference was 5,503 fewer votes cast.  That is astounding.

Republican voters controlled the election

The election was held coterminous with partisan primary elections as now required by law.

As LOVE had written previously, the requirement by the State that Oro Valley elections be held at such time virtually insured a low voter turnout and one that would be biased toward the town of Oro Valley's partisan voters, who are primarily Republican voters.  This change effectively locked out registered independents from voting since they had to make special effort to get ballots and since they were not in the habit of voting in partisan primaries.

Generally, unless there is some hotly contested partisan race, which there was not, partisan voter turnout is low.  There was a hotly contested race for congress district 1 on the republican side but no race on the democratic side:

We estimate that independents were 8% of the total votes cast.

There were 3,169 votes case for Mayor in Oro Valley's largest 2 largest voting districts (12 and 145).  Using votes cast for congress district 1 as a benchmark, we find that there were 2921 partisan (party related) votes cast in these 2 districts.  That means that only 248 votes were submitted with no party voting.  These are the independent registered voters. So, based on our estimate:

Votes cast by Republican registered voters:  58%
Votes cast by Democrat registered voters:    34%
Votes cast by Independent voters:                   8%

Full election results are available on the web site.

Tell us your reaction!


Richard Furash, MBA said...

Congratulations to the incumbents--May they do right by the people!

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Looks like the Firemen and Police support really made a difference!

Congratulations to Hiremath, Waters, Hornat and Snider.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

The people have spoken and as always we reap what we sow.There is no personal "pain" being inflicted on individuals by the current town council and administration processes. Until town residents are affected on a personal level I would not expect a higher ratio of voter turnout. Down the road (after it is too late to fix) and property values hit the skids as a result of the Oracle corridor "projects" evolving into ghettos (and they will), these missing voters will show up demanding action. OBTW .... I would guess that the 34% turnout may be about the same, or better than, Federal elections turnout, and represent the same large ratio of special interests (police, fire fighters, developers, business's, etc) that are feeding at the town funded trough.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Excellent recap, duffer. Thanks for that.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Sauron and his three winged, Nazgul will fly over the OV for sometime to come.
This re election will reinforce the dentist's less enjoyable personality traits. More snide comments, less self control, more papers torn up and tossed in the dust bin.
But the voters has spoken and we get the government we deserve. So be it.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

I am disappointed that the Mayor took an opportunity to unite and wasted it by referring to his opponents as the" whiny minority", as quoted in this mornings AzStar. I would prefer that he would see his opposition as citizens, taxpayers, educated, informed and with a different perspective. I learn the most from people that I do not agree with from the start. I wish the Mayor would change his perspective, yet I doubt he will. I sense he will see this as a mandate and my advise is to hold on to your wallets with both hands.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

"Whiny minority." Wow. Hiremath's only been re-elected for 5 minutes and he's already insulting people. I predicted this would happen...that if he could get re-elected despite his ill-mannered behavior, that he would behave even worse this time around.

Also need to point out to him that Hiremath and Friends were the "whiny minority" earlier this year when their Zinkin recall effort failed.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Congratulations to the winners. However, I think it is unfortunate what the Mayor said concerning the minority and it doesn't help to unite the community.
I would like to point out that the election four-years ago included the governor's sales tax increase to fund education. Didn't this blog use that as an excuse for the election of the majority-four? Now you are lamenting too low a turnout. You cannot have it both ways. I disagree with your premise that independents were "locked out from voting". It required just as much effort to vote in this election as in past elections - voters needed to request a ballot or go to the polls. I can understand your point of them not being in the habit, but they were not "locked out" from voting.
I appreciate reading the blog, just adding my thoughts.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

"whiny minority", indeed. The dentist is acting in the exact manner I described above.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Once again and as always: Impeccable logic. I deeply admire you. I never realized soliciting signatures for a recall effort and elections were the same thing!

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Soliciting signatures...soliciting votes...same thing. They both involve persuading people to side with you, to believe in what you're "selling/pitching." And when they don't, you're considered to be in the minority.

Now, answer my question from another thread that you've been AVOIDING answering. When a council member (wink-wink) charges mileage to taxpayers for attending retirement parties, farewell parties, BBQ's, etc, how do the taxpayers benefit from that?

On one hand, the majority-4 will chastise Zinkin for attending a conference and claiming that his trip (charged to the taxpayers) was of no benefit to the town (despite him coming back with information and ideas that could benefit the town since they've already been shown to benefit OTHER towns).

On the other hand, you can't seem to defend "other" council members charging mileage to taxpayers for attending frivolous parties.

Well, will you look at that? There's my impeccable logic again.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

I notice that you only responded to the part of my post that pertained to the recall. You skipped over the part about Hiremath's incivility just 5 minutes into his re-election. I'll assume that means you agree that his comment was uncalled for.

You do realize that he just insulted everyone who didn't vote for the incumbents and he also insulted the two challengers who ran against them. I "deeply admire" his leadership skills!

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Your low voter turnout headline seems a bit misleading. This Primary election had higher turnout than the two previous primaries. In 2012 the turnout for the primary held in March was 33%. This was the Zinkin Burns, Gardner primary. In 2010 the turnout was 29.55% in the Primary. As I recall, Zinkin lead the way in the Mayoral Race after that election. It seems the LOVE candidates benift from low turnout as well. Maybe a better headline should read "Higher Primary turnout dooms LOVE candidates."

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Bottom line, they won, LOVE lost. Did it ever occur to you that the folks that voted saw something you failed to see? Is it possible that the challengers were weak. If you really stretch your imagination, is your outlook on Oro Valley wrong?
Too many Republicans voted in a non-partisan election. That deserves the 'spin' award of the decade. It's 'obamaesque'!!! :-)

Richard Furash, MBA said...

You lost. Does it really matter? You lost.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

3 apples - 5 oranges = 2 votes less?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

If you want to talk "bottom line," here you go...

The REAL bottom line is multi-pronged. It included such things as voters re-electing incumbents because that's what voters usually tend to do. It's easier than researching and reading and attending candidate forums. It included apathy, as evidenced by the low voter turnout. You know, if there isn't a bulldozer outside MY patio walls about to destroy MY property value, then apparently everything is running just fine in this town, so I'll either vote for the incumbents or I'll not bother to even vote at all.

Then we have the enormous sums of money donated by builders and developers to re-elect the incumbents, meanwhile, the challengers chose not to accept big money endorsements so as not to be in a position later on of owing those developers any favors. Don't kid yourself. NO ONE gives thousands of dollars to another person without expecting something in return at a later date.

The BIG MONEY allowed the incumbents to run huge COLOR ads in the local fishwrap EVERY WEEK. And since the fishwrap also endorsed them, the fishwrap could also carefully choose which letters to the editor to print each week and which ones to ignore. I know FOR A FACT that many residents wrote letters to the editor containing FACTUAL information that could be found in public records, information that would have turned many voters against the incumbents, but no surprise, those letters were never published. Keep the voters the election.

To be continued...

Richard Furash, MBA said...

More on the "bottom line."

There's also the lies they told to unsuspecting voters such as the doozy about how they turned a $3 million dollar deficit into a $1.7 million dollar surplus. Never happened. And THAT deserves the "spin award of the decade!"

Or how about another paper running a story called "Meet the Mayor" or something to that effect just days before the election. Why are we meeting the mayor NOW when he's already been in office for 4 years and may not even be the mayor in a few more days? Shouldn't they have run that story, oh, I don't know, maybe 3 years ago? The timing of that article was no coincidence.

Is that enough bottom line for you?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

There was no spin. The council election may have been non-partisan (on paper but not in reality), but the statewide elections were included on the ballot and since there were many Republicans running in the primary, this would lead to a larger Republican voter turnout. That's probably the reason the State passed the law to have local elections coincide with state elections. This is a RED state after all. It's in their interest to get as many conservatives elected as possible, even at the local level.

Did the folks see something that we failed to see? No. We saw what THEY failed to see. We saw lies told at the debates and in newspaper articles. We saw the deck stacked against us due to BIG MONEY interests and a LOCAL MEDIA that kept pertinent information from the voters.

Is our outlook on OV wrong? Our outlook is to avoid a scenario where the last remaining bobcat is forced to seek shade behind the last remaining palo verde tree. Our outlook is to have a peaceful way of life surrounded by desert and mountain views...not surrounded by apartment buildings and 4-lane roads and traffic lights and traffic noise and air pollution and increased crime/vandalism.

If YOUR outlook was to live in a city filled with all of those things, then why did you move to OV?

Richard Furash, MBA said...

What matters isn't THAT they won, it's HOW they won. But you don't want to talk about that. Just like you don't want to talk about mileage reimbursements.