Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: taxonomy_term in similarterms_taxonomy_node_get_terms() (line 518 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in similarterms_list() (line 221 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in similarterms_list() (line 222 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).

Election changes hopefully ahead

Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: taxonomy_term in similarterms_taxonomy_node_get_terms() (line 518 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 0 in similarterms_list() (line 221 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).
  • Notice: Undefined offset: 1 in similarterms_list() (line 222 of /home/westvalleyview/public_html/sites/all/modules/similarterms/similarterms.module).

Hallelujah, Goodyear has put election talks on its calendar.

The city will hold a work session Aug. 21 so staff (at the request of the council) can clarify the current process of how and when the city conducts its elections and possibly make recommendations for future elections.

For those of you who missed the last two editorials, we’ve been hammering the city pretty hard over the way it calculates election results.

Goodyear is the only West Valley city that adds over votes and under votes into the vote total to determine the majority of votes necessary to win the primary. Over voting happens when people cast votes for more candidates than available seats. Under voting happens when people don’t cast every vote available to them.

Under voting happens far more often than over voting, and in large enough numbers to have caused the city several unnecessary and costly general, or runoff, elections over the years.

We’re gonna be honest, we didn’t even know what over votes and under votes were until after the city’s primary election last March. We got the election results, did the calculations and determined that Wally Campbell, Joe Pizzillo and Brannon Hampton had all obtained the majority of votes necessary to win outright. But the city declared a runoff election between Hampton and Sara Gilligan, claiming neither received a majority. That election cost the taxpayers close to $90,000.

That’s when we found out the city counts over and under votes when determining a majority, and 5,422 under votes changed things big time.

Since then, we’ve been looking more closely at some of the city’s past elections and have uncovered all sorts of weirdness, such as the 2003, 2005 and 2007 elections that used the formula of “50 percent of all ballots cast plus one ballot” to determine a majority. We asked the city how that could possibly work when every other city uses the formula of “50 percent of all votes cast plus one.” It didn’t help that the city posted the wrong vote total for one candidate and failed to even list the number of over and under votes from the 2005 election on its website.

It took more than 24 hours to get back to us, but the city said it considers every possible vote as a vote cast. It takes the number of ballots cast and multiplies that by the number of open seats to come up with the total number of votes “cast.” So if three seats are on the ballot, every ballot counts as three votes no matter what the voter does or doesn’t do.

Our next question was how the city determines the number of over votes. We posed this scenario to the city: Five people are running for three seats. Someone votes for all five. How many over votes did he cast? The city got back to us right away with the answer: Two. So we circled back with, “If every ballot represents three votes, how does the third vote get counted?”

That question got kicked upstairs to the city clerk. Again, more than 24 hours later, we got an answer: Oops, the answer should have been three over votes, not two.

Bottom line is Goodyear has made calculating election results so confusing by tallying in over and under votes that nobody from the city even seems to understand it. Worse, it’s cost taxpayers a hefty sum for runoff elections that should not have been conducted.

We urge Goodyear residents to demand the city changes the way it calculates elections.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here