Normally after any election I reach out to thank all of those that voted, those that campaigned, those that volunteered, those that worked the polls, etc because at least you engaged in the process. This morning however, is different.
While I do thank those that volunteered, worked the polls and even those that ran for office, it has never been more evident how disconnected the public truly is from the process and how uneducated so many people are on the issues, especially on a local level. Yesterday's wins were based purely on the number of people that showed up to vote for the letter on the ballot, not the person.
To think that only 28.63% of the registered voters in Pinal County actually voted yesterday is disappointing. In comparison in 2010, 48.48% of the registered voters cast a vote, so this isn't about low turnout in "midterm elections", this is about low turn out period. Yesterday, the residents in Pinal County (as well as the state) were given the chance to vote in a new "President" & "Vice President" for our State, plus treasurer, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, corporation commissioners, senators & representatives, and on a local level were able to vote for judges, the clerk of the court, the school board, school bonds, and constable. Less than 1/3 of those registered to vote in this county, voted. Less than 1/3 of the registered voters let their voice be heard and as a result, they decided for all of you that did not vote. This is not a majority win. Those that won their election won by a majority vote of the minority.
Now before everyone starts yapping about me being disappointed with who got into a state office, let me be clear, I am excited to see the change that may come to my state with those that were elected into a state office last night. New blood, new thoughts, and maybe a new direction that will be positive. As long as those elected have a goal of improving our state and not simply preventing 'the other party' from doing anything, we just might make progress. For those that won on a State level, I congratulate you. I simply ask that you remember that while you may have been voted in by a minority, you will now be sworn in to represent everyone. Please listen to those in your districts and in the state, whether or not they voted for you. Keep us informed, ask for our input, represent the people and do your job, well. We are a representative republic, which means you represent "We the People", please don't forget that.
So if I'm not disappointed with who was elected into state office, what am I writing about right? For those of you unaware, over the last 4 weeks, our area learned that a Republican Candidate for Constable, John R Acton, fabricated an entire law enforcement career and embellished a military career. They learned that he has lied to this community for almost a decade. SanTanValley.com broke the news and media sources including but not limited to the AJ News, TriValley Central, the Arizona Republic and even CBS 5, helped to distribute the story. Sheriff Paul Babeu even came out asking Acton to withdraw from the race as did the Arizona Constable's Association. The news was everywhere. This race however is the race that confirmed, to me, that people vote for the letter, not the candidate, principal or integrity. John R Acton earned 57.89% of the vote and won his race. The voters in District 7 just elected a proven liar into an office that "has the same legal authority as a county sheriff". A man who stole the honor from every law enforcement officer and veteran for years, just won his race.
So as I sit here this morning, trying to wrap my head around all of this I am asking myself why people take the time to vote, without researching what or who they are voting for. I wonder how someone can vote for a candidate with zero integrity to be in office and then defend their action by simply using the "party ticket" as their excuse.
I used to be upset with those of you that didn't vote, wishing that everyone would go out and exercise their civic duty and cast their vote, so their voice was heard. Now however, while I wish more than 28% of the registered voters would have voted, my wish is that only people who take the time to educate themselves on what or who they are voting for, actually vote in the future. Educated voters are the only voters who will allow "We the People" to be heard and represented.
So what's next? Sheriff Paul Babeu stated that he "will request an outside law enforcement agency conduct a criminal investigation based on the information Mr. Acton has represented on his campaign materials and has personally told Sheriff Babeu. The alleged crime is Fraudulent Schemes as defined by ARS 13-2310.A".
So now I ask you Sheriff, will you stick to your word? Will you arrest John Acton and charge him with a class 2 felony? Will Lando Voyles pursue a case? What will the "Law & Order Team" now? How will you and your brother, Justice of the Peace, Shaun Babeu, believe a word this man says in any instance? This same man who is excited to carry a gun because it is a "great intimidator".
Shame on all of you who voted for the R candidate for Constable, instead of the best candidate. 57% of 28% of our registered voters just stuck this district with a bully and a liar and that is why this morning is different.