PRESCOTT – What is described as an historic general election nevertheless drew 20 percent fewer voters in Arizona this year. Barely 55 percent voted in 2016, 74 percent in 2012 and 78 percent in 2008 according to the Arizona Secretary of State.
Here in Yavapai County, the Recorder’s Office reported a 16 percent drop in voter turnout, with 65.64 percent voting this year compared with 81.57 percent in the 2012 general election.
County voters overall mirrored voters statewide, with strong incumbent support mixed with a few upstart surprises. As of noon Nov. 9 with nearly 98 percent of ballots counted, the county and state posted the following election results as of noon Nov. 9:
Republican Donald Trump’s support was significantly stronger in Yavapai County than overall in Arizona, taking 62.55 percent of the county vote versus 49.69 percent of the statewide vote. Trump tallied 58,573 votes in the county and 946,348 votes in the state. Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton received about one-third less votes in Yavapai County than Arizona-wide, gaining 31.49 percent of the county vote compared with 45.31 percent of the vote statewide. Clinton received 29,492 votes in Yavapai County and 862,882 votes in Arizona - - just 8.8 percent less votes than Trump statewide.
Despite running in what he described as “the fight of his life,” Republican John McCain ended-up with nearly double the votes in Yavapai County than Democratic challenger Ann Kirkpatrick. McCain netted 60.47 percent of the county’s votes versus Kirkpatrick’s 31.61 percent, with McCain’s 55,142 votes besting Kirkpatrick’s 28,825 votes. Statewide, the vote was tighter, with McCain gaining 1,002,798 votes versus Kirkpatrick’s 776,989, translating into a 53.25 percent versus 41.25 percent share.
U.S. Congress District 1
Democrat Tom O’Halleran and Republican Paul Babeu gained consistent numbers both countywide and statewide in the race for the District 1 congressional seat. In Yavapai County, O’Halleran received 6,316 votes versus Babeu’s 5,255 votes, giving him a margin of 51.04 percent of voters versus 42.46 percent. The state of Arizona vote was closer, with O’Halleran receiving 111,234 votes compared with Babeu’s 93,639 votes, resulting in a 51.20 percent versus 43.10 percent share.
U.S. Congress District 4
In Yavapai County, District 4 incumbent Republican Congressman Paul Gosar drew double the votes of contender Democrat Mikel Weisser, scoring 52,917 votes versus 22,737. Gosar gained 69.80 percent of the countywide voting share and Weisser 29.99 percent. Statewide, Gosar netted 161,882 votes versus Weisser’s 64,246 votes, accounting for a 71.59 percent share of voters versus Weisser’s 28.41 percent.
State Senator District 6
Incumbent Republican Sylvia Tenney Allen hung-on by a thread in Yavapai County as District 6 Democratic challenger Nikki Check Bagley came within 100 votes, 12,020 to 11,920. Statewide, Allen gained 40,838 votes versus Bagley’s 38,023 (a difference of 2,815 votes). Percentage-wise, Allen gained 50.15 percent of the countywide vote while Bagley tallied 49.74 percent. Statewide, Allen scored 51.78 percent of the votes and Bagley 48.22 percent.
State Representative District 1 (two elected)
A thin margin separated the top two candidates for District 1 House. In Yavapai County, Noel Campbell’s 40,499 votes versus vs David Stringer’s 37,400 votes resulted in voter shares of 38.69 percent and 35.73 percent respectively. Statewide, Campbell scored 55,211 votes and Stringer 51,826 votes (38.54 percent versus 36.18 percent respectively). Coming in at a distant third was Democrat Peter Pierson with 19,782 countywide votes and 26,712 statewide votes, earning 18.90 percent and 18.65 percent of the vote respectively.
State Representative District 6 (two elected)
A close race for District 6 House brought Republican Brenda Barton 11,898 votes and Republican Bob Thorpe 11,656 votes in Yavapai County, with Democrat Alex Martinez trailing at 10,890 votes. The percentage of county votes was 34.47 percent, 33.77 percent and 31.55 percent respectively.
Statewide, Barton gained 39,385 votes, Thorpe 40,465 votes and Martinez 35,409 votes for a respective 34.17 percent, 35.11 percent and 30.72 percent share.
Proposition 205 (Legalization of recreational marijuana)
A bid to legalize recreational marijuana through Proposition 205 fell 42.98 percent to 57.02 percent in Yavapai County and 47.85 percent to 52.15 percent statewide. Total “Yes” votes were 38,909 countywide and 901,964 statewide. Total “No” votes were 51,626 countywide and 983,027 statewide. In contrast, voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Proposition 206 (Minimum wage increase)
Proposition 206, a measure to raise the minimum wage in Arizona to $12 an hour by the year 2020, passed by an 18 percent margin countywide and 31 percent statewide. In Yavapai County, 54.99 percent voted “Yes” and 45.01 percent voted “No,” with vote totals coming-in at 49,502 and 40,526 respectively. Statewide, 59.06 percent voted “Yes” and 40.94 percent voted “No,” tallying totals of 1,105,238 and 766,028 respectively. Voters in three other states joined Arizona in raising the hourly minimum wage by 2020, including Colorado ($12), Maine ($12) and Washington ($13.50).