Coady files complaint over late May 19 ballots

By Curtis Riggs | May 27, 2009

CAREFREE – Town Councilman Bob Coady has filed a complaint against Town Clerk Betsy Wise over when May 19 ballots were mailed and other election issues.

“It limited the rights of citizens to vote,” he said about Wise choosing to mail the ballots in the all-mail election on May 4. “It should have been spread out over a month. Betsy Wise chose to make it into a two-week period.”

At issue in the late mailing of the ballots are problems it caused part-time residents who had returned home for the summer and received their ballots there. Coady said he heard from a couple that had returned home to Wisconsin and some part-time residents who are in Iowa stating they received their ballot only a day before the May 19 election.

He said the Wisconsin couple raised enough commotion with Maricopa County Election officials they faxed a ballot for them to return by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Coady’s complaint was made to Maricopa County Election official Kristi Passarelli.

“Betsy Wise could have sent out those ballots sometime in April, but mailing them on May 4 narrowed the opportunity for our citizens to vote, especially the ones who are leaving for the summer,” he said.

Wise countered she handled telling the county when to send the ballots the same way it has been handled in Carefree for the past dozen years.

“Candidates wanted the time to campaign before the ballots are sent out,” she said about one reason for the lateness of the mailing, adding “they always could have come into Town Hall and voted.”