Pima County Supervisors show why it will be a long election season
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The day after Labor Day is the unofficial beginning of the sprint to Election Day. If the Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting today is any indication, it’s going to be a long sprint.
When Democratic District 1 Supervisor Rex Scott provided a preliminary report on the August 2, 2022 primary election, the tone took a dark turn.
“The only thing missing from Supervisor Scott’s report are rainbows and unicorns,” said District 4 Supervisor, Republican Steve Christy.
He was objecting to Scott’s assessment that the election went well despite being the county’s first foray into vote centers.
“We can see from this preliminary report, the facts speak to a mostly successful first run with e-poll books and vote centers,” Scott reported.
But Christy, who has been critical of the new process, said a preliminary report is not a final report, one which is due in October.
“To have this discussion now is superfluous, it’s grandstanding, you take a swipe at Trump, and lawsuits and elections people have questions over,” Christy said.
“If anybody’s grandstanding in this space Supervisor Christy, it’s you,” Scott replied. “And you’ve been doing that on this issue since its inception.”
It was a back and forth that went on for a while with neither giving an inch.
Scott did bring up former President Trump, whom he accused of spreading disinformation which has tainted the election process, even this primary election.
The county received 55 complaints about the election, most of them common misinformation which has cast a pall over the election process.
“12 of the concerns that were sent to us were about the use of felt tip pens or markers,” Scott said. “It is a non-issue in terms of the tabulation of our ballots.”
But it has been an issue in GOP disinformation circles since the 2020 election audit in Maricopa County where it was a disproven election concern.
“All of that disinformation can ultimately be traced back to the schemes of a former president who refuses to accept the fact that he lost the 2020 presidential election,” Scott said.
Again, that received another objection from Christy.
“And I must say President Trump still lives in a number of my friends on the board brains,” Christy said. “It gives my colleague an opportunity to grandstand about how the great big lie has permeated into Pima County.”
While there were a few errors and mistakes made in the primary such as equipment malfunctioning and one vote center of 129 ran out of ballots, all were easily fixed and never affected the outcome.
“That’s something that’s very normal is all elections,” said District 5 Supervisor Adelita Grijalva. “I mean some of those processes are things that happen all the time.”
But the animosity between Christy and Scott went on for a while longer.
“I can play the last word game,” Christy said. “It seems Supervisor Scott wants to get every word last, so I’m not going to let this word end with him.”
It didn’t however, end with either one of them.
“And gentlemen can we just ratchet down the rhetoric,” said Board Chair Sharon Bronson. “Because I don’t think its accomplishing anything but disenfranchising voters.”
And with that they moved on to item 16 on the agenda.
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