Sometimes details — no matter how mundane or minuscule — matter.

Last week the laborious task of conducting a hand-count audit was among the last tasks left for officials at the Cochise County Elections Office.

Even though the count is required by law, some officials in Arizona skip the step, confident that their exhaustive effort to tabulate the votes has been accurate.

Kudos to Director Lisa Marra and the Cochise County Elections Office for following the letter of the law. As a result of their efforts, there is less likelihood that the ballot outcomes reported after the final count can be challenged.

That’s not the case elsewhere in the state.

Some 157,062 voters across five Arizona counties have no idea whether their tabulation machines operated accurately on Election Day. That’s because election officials in Apache, Gila, Graham, La Paz, and Yuma did not conduct the hand counts required by state law.

The failure to follow the law — despite its laborious requirement — has kept Cochise County out of the spotlight on this controversial election.

We’re also handing out congratulations to Ty White, the Willcox High School chemistry teacher. The American Chemical Society, Rocky Mountain Region, named Mr. White the Chemistry Teacher of the Year.

White is known far and wide as an advisor to students who accomplish remarkable feats.

We watched a bittersweet moment for outgoing Arizona U.S. Senator Martha McSally on Wednesday. She delivered her farewell speech at the podium on the floor of the chamber, noting that she had given everything she had to the job and is leaving, knowing that she “left it all on the field.”

Like her or not, McSally’s record as a public servant is impressive and won’t be forgotten in Cochise County. She’s on a first name basis with many of the rancher’s in the area, worked tirelessly on issues of local concern, and her distinguished military background helped Fort Huachuca and Davis-Monthan in Tucson.

She graciously welcomed newly-elected Sen. Mark Kelly and promised a smooth transition into the office.

We hope it’s not the last we hear from Martha McSally.

We’re reminding everyone to take advantage of Arizona’s unique tax credit program. Arizona hands out some $600 million in annual tax credits, providing direct payments to nonprofits, schools and other qualified organizations.

It’s popularity continues to grow.

A tax credit is even better than a deduction. While certain thresholds often have to be met for deductions to start to affect your tax bottom line, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in what you owe the state.

Talk to your tax adviser before Dec. 31 to find out more, and make a difference for the organizations you support.

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