Feathered Bastard

Joe Arpaio Triumphant and More Wreckage from Election Night

Last night was 2008 all over again: Obama wins, while those of us who must live in still deeply red Maricopa County lose.

That is, those who want justice, racial and ethnic harmony, and competent, effective law enforcement.

As in 2008, we are in the minority. Though percentage-wise, we may have gained a little traction, Arpaio still pulled nearly 53 percent as of last night's count to Democrat Paul Penzone's nearly 43 percent and Republican-turned-Independent Mike Stauffer's 4.

That's 47 percent of the voters who do not like what they see in Joe, despite his mega-millions.

See also: -Joe Arpaio All-but-Declares Victory, and Immediately Declares 2016 Candidacy -Joe Arpaio Defeats Paul Penzone With Ease, and the Sheriff's Reign Continues -Election 2012: Arizona's Full Election Breakdown (Update)

There remain an untold number of provisional and early ballots left to count. When I spoke to Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell last night at the Phoenix Convention Center, where county elections had set up, she told me they would not know how many provisional and early ballots were in-house until Wednesday afternoon.

"All we know is that we have reports from the polling places that they needed more provisional envelopes," she explained of votes where an individual's registration requires verification. "A provisional ballot has to be in a provisional envelope, and they were running out of envelopes."

Earlier on election day, Purcell estimated that 100,000 early ballots would be dropped off at the polls, and she anticipated around 75,000 provisionals. She said those numbers were based on similar numbers from 2008.

At both the parties for the anti-Arpaio groups Citizens for a Better Arizona and Adios Arpaio, the latter of which registered more than 34,000 new voters this year, there were rumors of hundreds of thousands more provisionals in play, and stories of Latinos who registered but had to fill out provisionals and other hassles at the polls.

However, Penzone's advisors looked at the math and concluded that regardless of the number of early and provisionals left to count, they would have to get an overwhelming majority of what was out there, 65 percent or more.

At the Penzone party, held at the Levine Machine building near Grant and 7th Streets, the former Phoenix Police Sergeant and one-time face of Silent Witness conceded shortly before 10 p.m. I caught up to him after making the rounds at Adios Arpaio and CBA. He looked spent.

"The toughest thing for me, as I told my family many times, is that I don't want to see a person with disappointment on their face who supported me," he explained.

"Not because it's about me, because it's about this community. And I hope that they just don't lose hope. That they continue to work to make things better, and to hold [Arpaio] accountable."

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons