by Jim Nintzel
Here's a new twist in this year's city election: Pima County will be managing it instead of the City Clerk's Office. And that could significantly boost turnout.
With early voting starting on Thursday, Oct. 8, roughly 61,400 city voters on the new county permanent early-voter list will all be getting ballots in the mail starting this week. In the past, city voters have had to request an early ballot before one was sent to them.
That means more than one in four of the roughly 224,000 city voters—or more than 27 percent—will have a ballot in their hands very soon. We expect that many of them will hang onto them for a few weeks, and some may never get around to sending them back.
Still, when you consider that city elections often only see a 25 percent turnout (four years ago, in the hotly contested 2005 contest, four out of 10 voters cast a ballot), we could see a surprisingly high number of citizens casting votes.