(Posted Oct. 18, 2021)
Video is HERE Click on Item K-1
Think you can do a better job of running Casa Grande than the present mayor and City Council?
You'll have your chance to run for office at the Aug. 2 city election.
You can get a jump on that on Oct. 28 by attending an overview of election procedures and policies, along with picking up nomination papers.
The session begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers are City Hall, 510 E. Florence Blvd.
Open seats for the election are Mayor Craig McFarland and council members Matt Herman, Dick Powell and Bob Huddleston.
According to the staff report presented at Monday night's council meeting:
• Candidates seeking nomination must get at least 372 and not more than 743 signatures of qualified registered Casa Grande voter. A new process for this election includes the availability for candidates to use the state's E-Qual system to collect electronic signatures on petitions. (Scroll down to E-Qual story below)
• All candidates are required to file a statement of interest form with the City Clerk’s Office prior to collecting signatures on nomination petitions, either paper or electronic.
• Any candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast at the primary election will be declared elected without running at the Nov. 8 general election.
The majority will be determined by:
• Calculating the total number of votes cast for all candidates.
• Dividing that by the number of seats to be filled for the office.
• Dividing the number reached by two and rounding that number to the highest whole number.
If not all seats are filled at the primary election, the staff report says, the primary is deemed a nominating election and those candidates receiving the highest number of votes proceed to the general election.
"The number of candidates to proceed to the general election is two times the number of available seats," the staff report continues. "For example, if two council seats are not filled in the primary election, up to four candidates would proceed to the general election."
Nomination packets will also be available on the city's website and at the City Clerk's Office.
(Originally posted Sept. 10, 2021, in COMMUNITY)
The E-Qual candidate guide is HERE
The E-Qual voter guide is HERE
The Arizona elections statutes are HERE
Casa Grande is joining an Arizona state program designed to allow voters to electronically sign a candidate's petition.
Participation is voluntary for candidates, but it is designed to make it easier all around.
The Arizona statute says, in brief: "... the secretary of state shall provide a system for qualified electors to sign a nomination petition for candidates for city or town office, county office and the office of precinct committeeman by way of a secure internet portal ..."
As explained in the staff report accompanying Tuesday night's City Council discussion, "The state has developed a system called E-Qual, which allows voters to sign petitions electronically. The system requires voters to use their voter ID number or driver's license number in order to securely verify that the signer is a qualified registered voter. The E-Qual system will be optional for the candidates and can be combined with the traditional hard copy petitions."
The state revised statute points out that the program applies only to candidates for city or town elected office, county office and the office of precinct committeeman.
City Clerk Gloria Leija told the council that the Arizona secretary of state has made the E-Qual system available for free.
"First of all, it starts with the City Clerk's Office where we will do the administration part of it," she said. "And I have to tell you it did make me nervous, but they did provide a site where we could train. We did six weeks training there, practicing on their site.
"The next part will be for all the candidates to sign in, get a log-in, for me to be able to start the petition. And then there's the part where the voter can elect to go on there and can sign a nomination petition, not only for City Council but other elections, other petitions."
An overall candidate orientation and training session will be held Oct. 6, Leija said.
Candidates are not required to use the E-Qual system, Leija emphasized, adding, "I want to make sure there is that there is that understanding that it is an option for you to use the electronic nomination petitions. You can elect to use both, you can elect electronically and also to make hard copies of your petition."
Councilwoman Donna McBride asked if the new system will create more work for Leija's office.
No, Leija responded, pointing out that the electronic system will verify if the signer is a registered voter and lives within Casa Grande. When the required number of verified signatures in reached, the program stops.
"When you are ready to come in and file with the City Clerk's Office, the nomination packet, you will hit submit and we will get that notice that you have your nomination petitions available electronically," Leija continued.
She added that a candidate could have part of the required number of signatures gathered electronically and part gathered on paper.
"I can tell you that even though I was nervous using it after I've been doing election services over the years, I was nervous, but it is very, very easy," Leija said. "The state has put together some instructions for the candidate and for the voters (see links above). So it is very easy to use."
The council vote on joining the program was unanimous.
(Posted Oct. 24, 2019)
This attached guide was issued Monday night during a City Hall meeting for candidates and prospective candidates for Casa Grande’s August 2020 primary election.
Further information and links to required forms listed in the guide at https://casagrandeaz.gov/city-elections-2020/
The Arizona secretary of state candidate campaign website referenced in the guide is https://azsos.gov/elections/campaign-finance-reporting
Casa Grande’s primary municipal election will be Aug. 4, 2020.
Mayor Craig McFarland is eligible for re-election as are councilwomen Mary Kortsen, Lisa Navarro-Fitzgibbons and Donna McBride.
Any candidate receiving a majority of votes cast during the primary is automatically elected. If a majority is not reached, the candidate must run again in a general election, which would be on Nov. 3, 2020.
According to the staff report accompanying the City Council agenda item, “The majority of all the votes cast as required by the city's charter and ordinance will be determined by utilizing the below methodology:
“1. Calculating the total number of actual votes cast for all candidates for an office whose names were lawfully on the ballot for that office.
“2. Dividing the sum reached above by the number of seats to be filled for that office.
“3. Dividing the number reached pursuant to paragraph 2 by two and rounding that
number to the highest whole number.
“If not all seats are filled at the primary election, then the primary election is deemed a nominating election and those candidates receiving the highest number of votes proceed to the general election.
“The number of candidates to proceed to the general election is two times the number of available seats. For example, if two council seats are not filled in the primary election, up to four candidates would proceed to the General Election.”
Candidate packets should be filed at the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m., April 6.
Candidates for mayor must be 25 years of age or older, and candidates for council member must be at least 21.
The deadline to register to vote in the primary is July 6, 2020. The deadline to register for a general election is Oct. 5.