Apache Junction Independent

Cavanaugh: Pinal County recorder should resign

The vote for justice of the peace for precinct 6 (Apache Junction/Gold Canyon/San Tan Valley) indicates a 13-vote separation between myself and Doug Coleman.

Kevin Cavanaugh

The problem isn’t the votes that have been cast and count – rather, it’s the votes which were not. Both early mail-In ballots and provisional ballots cast at the polling place (for voters whose names, addresses or polling places differ to any degree from the records) are subject to verification and may be rejected. These ballots can be restored by contacting the voters and having affidavits signed.

In this instance, Virginia Ross’ recorder’s office has refused to provide a count of rejected ballots for JP6, and the clock is running out. I won both the poll and provisional ballots by a fair margin, but I’m behind in the overall early ballots by only a slight amount – and it is unknown if the rejected early ballots are from precincts I won by a wide margin. A statistical anomaly demonstrates that persons who voted for me were 33 percent more likely to have their ballots designation “provisional.”

Time is of the essence. Review of data and restoration of votes cast both need to be done by Friday, as there is a five-day window once the vote is accepted by county government.

The problem is, Virginia Ross’ office is slow-walking the data – just as she did during the election itself. Candidates can request and receive weekly updates of early votes cast, and focus their efforts on those people who have not yet voted.

The data provided was delayed, and late on Friday before election day, the most critical data day for a candidate, the Recorder’s Office “accidentally” sent the previous week’s report – denying our ability to focus on the correct voters for our last-minute GOTV effort.

I am not ready to say that Virginia Ross’ recorder’s office acted maliciously to tilt an election, it could be mere incompetence and mismanagement.

The people of Pinal County, no matter their political stripe, deserve to have better management of elections, keeping free and fair elections is integral to keeping our Representative Republic.

Ms. Ross has not demonstrated competence. In my signature challenge against Glenn Walp (to his credit) agreed that some of the signatures previously verified on his forms by Ms. Ross were outright forgeries. In open court Ms. Ross could not provide dates she mailed redistricting notices and updated voter cards – a fundamental issue.

We Republicans are trying to convince Democrats and Independents that we have a better way, we will be the party of fairness and equal justice under the law, but citizens cannot have such confidence in Ms. Ross. If Ms. Ross demonstrates incompetence and partiality in a Republican primary, how much less confidence should Democrats and Independents have that fairness in a general election will occur?

It is for this reason I am calling on Virginia Ross to resign her post so that a person can be appointed who holds the rule of law and fair elections in the highest esteem – irrespective of person or party.

Kevin Cavanaugh
Republican candidate
Justice of the peace, precinct 6
Apache Junction