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General election canvass sets up first known recount of ballot measure

Secretary of State Ken Bennett signs the official canvass of this year's election on Nov. 29, 2010. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times))

Secretary of State Ken Bennett signs the official canvass of this year

General election results made official Monday set up the first recount of a statewide ballot proposition that officials can recall.

Proposition 112, which seeks to move the initiative filing deadline forward by 60 days, trailed by only 128 votes.

“It may be the first time in the history of the state [that a proposition is recounted],” Secretary of State Ken Bennett said.

State law requires that a Superior Court judge order a recount for differences of less than one-tenth of 1 percent or 200 votes, whichever is less. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig issued that order Monday afternoon.

Proposition 112, which would move the filing deadline for citizens’ initiatives from July 1 to May 1 of an election year, didn’t garner much support or opposition. Some county election officials said they needed the extra time to verify signatures.

The Legislature unanimously referred the measure to the ballot.

Attorney General Terry Goddard, who was present at the canvass, suggested it was general apathy about the proposition that created such an even split.

Gov. Jan Brewer was also on hand to certify the results, as required by law.

Bennett said the “monumental task” of recounting will begin in the next two days, after each county retests their logic and accuracy machines. The state will cover the cost of the recount, which is estimated at between $150,000 and $200,000.

The results are expected to be delivered to the judge around Dec.15.

The overall election went smoothly and without any major hiccups, Bennett said.

After three weeks of early voting and with 2,200 polling places open on election day, Arizonans cast a total of 1,750,840 ballots.

That put the statewide turnout at 55.6 percent.

“It was within the normal range of our off-presidential-year elections,” Bennett said.

The county with the highest turnout was Yavapai, which recorded 68 percent. The lowest was Yuma at 46.3 percent.

Turnout by county:

– Apache 47.89 percent
– Cochise 52.35 percent
– Coconino 57.38 percent
– Gila 60.20 percent
– Graham 52.77 percent
– Greenlee 59.7 percent
– La Paz 52.99 percent
– Maricopa 54.22 percent
– Mohave 47.21 percent
– Navajo 52.03 percent
– Pima 65.54 percent
– Pinal 48.48 percent
– Santa Cruz 46.49 percent
– Yavapai 67.97 percent
– Yuma 46.31 percent

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