Tucson's unusual ward-only elections survive challenge
1 hour ago • By Becky Pallack
Arizona Daily Star
The city’s longstanding election system may be weird, but it’s not unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled.
A lawsuit filed by the Public Integrity Alliance and a group of Tucson Republicans claimed the system, which uses ward-only primary elections and at-large general elections to choose City Council members, violated the Constitution.
They said Tucson’s system deprives or dilutes their right to vote under the Equal Protection Clause — the “one man, one vote” protection.
But U.S. District Judge Cindy Jorgenson ruled in favor of the city Wednesday and said the city’s system is reasonable.
“The City has broad power to establish the procedure and provide conditions for the nomination and election process for city offices,” the judge wrote in her decision.
“The procedure established by the Tucson City Charter does not employ a system in which districts of unequal population could result in unequal representation and does not involve unequal weighting of votes.”
The judge also denied the Public Integrity Alliance’s request for an injunction to block the city from holding this year’s City Council elections under the current rules.
Plaintiff Bruce Ash, a national Republican committeeman, said he is disappointed in the outcome and will file an appeal.
“I’m still hoping the City Council will come to their senses and put ward-only elections on the ballot this year,” he said.
The city’s election system, established with the 1929 city charter, is unusual. Only a few other cities in California and Kentucky have elections like it.
This is an election year for Wards 1, 2 and 4, and for the mayor. Notices will start arriving in mailboxes this week notifying voters of the Aug. 25 primary and asking independent voters to choose either a Republican or a Democratic ballot.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Ash is a Tucsonan & rightwing wacko who often appears on Emil Franzi's agit-prop radio show and always has some sort of stupid ad that promotes one or more of his conservative obsessions. One of these ads falsely claimed that most Tucsonans rejected the current method of electing the city council so he and a few others took the city to court. The result: FAIL.
Posted by Steve J. at 8:18 PM