After an up and down ballot count that initially had Propositions 469 and 470 in the lead on Election Night, only to have those numbers swing the other way, the final election results are almost within reach.
No recount will be required if the margins remain similar to what they are now. With roughly 12,000 votes counted in the election so far, the margin would need to be within 12 votes to trigger an automatic recount under Arizona law.
As of Monday afternoon, Prop. 469 stood at 5,993 votes against, 5,904 in favor, while Prop. 470 was at 5,924 against and 5,838 in favor.
At one point last week, the vote totals were within one and two votes before more ballots were counted and the no votes pulled ahead.
Sahuarita Town Clerk Lisa Cole had planned on canvassing the election during Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, but said that would be put on hold as Pima County continues counting ballots.
She said as of Tuesday morning, the county had about 20,000 votes left to be counted, mostly provisional and early ballots that needed to be duplicated because an error rendered them unable to be read by a tabulation machine.
“The county hopefully plans to conclude counting over the weekend,” Cole said.
Once the county is done counting all the votes, a special council meeting will be called to canvas the election, Cole said.
In an emailed statement Tuesday, Mike Leung, construction manager for Red Point Development and chair of the Yes for Sahuarita PACs, did not address the developer’s next steps beyond the ballot count.
“This election has been a roller coaster and the ongoing ballot tabulations are no different. These results are still close and every voter deserves to have their ballot counted,” he said.
“Regardless of the final outcome, we are proud of our efforts to bring quality development and fair sewer fees to Sahuarita. We would like to thank the voters of Sahuarita, members of the town council, and members of planning and zoning for their support.
“We also want to thank the countless citizens and residents who volunteered their time and their voices to these efforts.”
Before the election, Leung said if the Copper Point propositions failed, the company would retool the development plan and again seek to gain approval from the town council.
Because voters also rejected allowing modification to the sewer and wastewater service area, the new Copper Point plan would most likely contain pocket plants to deal with wastewater, something that nearby residents have expressed concerns about.
Leung said in September that if Copper Point were approved but the sewer initiative failed, it would be cheaper for the company to build neighborhood sewer plants, rather than extend a sewer line to Old Nogales Highway to connect to the county’s system.
Arizona will have its first female senator after Democrat Kyrsten Sinema defeated Republican Martha McSally for the seat vacated by retiring Senator Jeff Flake.
McSally conceded Monday evening after ballot counts showed she was down nearly 40,000 votes.
“During this campaign I have been honored to meet with thousands of Arizonans in their workplaces, in coffee shops, in neighborhoods,” Sinema said on Twitter Monday evening. “Listening to their stories reminded me each and every day why we do this work and how much is left to do.”
Locally, a a Maintenance and Operations budget override for Sahuarita Unified School District was approved by more than 1,300 votes.
"I am very excited and really, to me, this is a validation of the trust and support the community has for our programs and the direction we've taken as an organization and a community," Superintendent Manny Valenzuela said last Tuesday night.
In the Congressional District 2 race, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick easily defeated Republican Lea Marquez Peterson.
Green Valley and Sahuarita also won’t see a change in the representation in the State Legislature, as state Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, as well as Reps. Rosanna Gabaldón and Daniel Hernandez, all Democrats, have retained their seats in Legislative District 2 by comfortable margins.
Andrew Paxton 520-547-9747
Reporter Kim Smith contributed to the story.