Outgoing Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett issued a news release today taking Terry Goddard, the liberal Democrat running for secretary of state, to task for blatant distortions in a debate …
Candidates often make inflammatory statements as a tactic to provoke a sense of mistreatment to curry favor with voters. However, blatant mischaracterizations about Arizona’s system of elections must be corrected. With less than three weeks before the General Election, current Secretary of State Ken Bennett believes it’s necessary to clear up inaccurate information being presented by Terry Goddard over the past few months.
The latest examples occurred during the Clean Elections Debate, hosted by Arizona PBS. During the broadcast, Mr. Goddard made two statements that were either terribly ignorant or deliberate misrepresentations of the truth for political gain.
“I’m confused where Mr. Goddard came up with amount of $2 million to implement the so-called Dual Track, or bifurcated system of voting in the primary,” said Secretary Bennett. Truth is, our counties will spend about $500,000 for both the primary and general elections. This system—one that I’ve repeatedly said is not ideal for election officials—was developed in response to two conflicting directives. One from Arizona’s voters, (Prop. 200) and the U.S. Supreme Court (Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Ariz., Inc.) As I’ve publically said before, and I’ll ask Mr. Goddard, which directive should we ignore; Arizona’s voters or the Supreme Court?
“In addition, I’m troubled by Mr. Goddard’s characterization that students, ‘who have to vote a federal ballot, are treated as second class citizens,’ which is patently false and simply absurd. College students do not have to vote a federal form. Those voting a federal ballot are simply doing so because they haven’t provided proof-of-citizenship to our County Recorders, a requirement approved by voters in 2004. Election officials around the state are committed to treating each voter equally and for Mr. Goddard to assume otherwise is offensive to elections officials statewide.
“Combined with his conspiratorial accusation of voter suppression when he declared ‘independent voters get only one chance to cast a ballot,’ I question Mr. Goddard’s fundamental understanding of how elections work in Arizona. While I certainly appreciate Mr. Goddard’s compliment about my singing voice during the debate, I would ask he either learn the songs or stop making up the lyrics.”