BISBEE – The county Board of Supervisors approved the 2020 election results as submitted by Elections Director Lisa Marra in a special meeting Thursday afternoon.
Marra said out of 82,000 registered voters — a 4,000 increase over the primary election — 60,963 ballots were counted this election. That puts voter participation at 74.33 percent.
Though getting the 48,865 early ballots ready to be tabulated was slowed by the voter registration extension, Marra explained the Recorder’s Office moved quickly to get the ballots to the Elections Office for tabulation.
There were 3,457 people who cast early votes at the Recorders Office and 23,109 early voters used the county’s drop boxes. Marra said 2,380 were dropped off on election day.
At the 17 voting centers, 12,444 people cast their votes in person.
A total of 3,009 voters cast provisional ballots, of which 2,663 were accepted. Of those, 166 were not eligible to vote, 113 were not registered, 28 had already cast early ballots, 21 had no signature and two provided no identification. There were two conditional provisional ballots issued, but they were rejected.
The largest age group of voters were those 55 to 64.
Representatives from both parties were present for the hand count that showed no significant findings.
Marra also noted time was spent on ballots on which voters wrote phrases like: “No confidence, anybody but him, anybody but her,” in addition to other nonsensical write-in candidates, which caused delays in counting. These ballots had to be hand reviewed.
“It took a huge team effort to pull off the election, especially in these times of COVID,” she said.
No Department of Justice staff were on hand to oversee the ballot handling and counting procedure, Marra said.
County Recorder David Stevens told Supervisors Tom Borer, Ann English and Peggy Judd there were two ballots from people who died which are being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office.
Coming on the heels of praise for Marra and Stephens by Borer and English, Judd said, “I trust you completely. Thanks for your hard work.”
School Superintendent Jacqui Clay was at the meeting to sign off on the school board elections.
Cochise County voters overwhelmingly cast their votes for Republican candidates President Donald Trump and Sen. Martha McSally along with state representatives and senators and other state offices.
The county has 32,941 active Republicans and 21,520 active Democrats.
Unopposed county officials, also Republicans, were County Attorney Brian McIntyre, County Assessor Phil Leiendecker, County Recorder David Stevens, County School Superintendent Jacqui Clay and County Sheriff Mark Dannels.
Supervisor Ann English was the only declared Democratic candidate to score a win for another term representing District 2.
Proposition 207, legalizing marijuana, won voter approval while Proposition 208, a tax on high income earners for education, failed in the county but passed statewide.