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Navajo County Republican Committee meeting in Heber

POLITICS- The NCRC met in Heber and local candidates got some last minute signatures.

On Saturday, March 23, 2024, the Navajo County Republican Committee (NCRC) held their monthly meeting at Capps Middle School in Heber, Arizona. An hour before the first of two scheduled meetings began a potluck breakfast was available. Homemade cinnamon rolls, quiche, sausages, and burritos were just some of the delectables to choose from. This first hour provided the Candidates with the opportunity to get any last-minute petition signatures and complete any paperwork needed to be filed by the April 1 deadline.

The candidates in attendance were Walter Blackman, Candidate for the AZ House for District 7; Danielle Earl, Candidate for Navajo County Treasurer; Janell Sterner, Candidate for the Show Low USD Governing Board, and this humble reporter also is a Candidate for Show Low USD Governing Board. 

Walter Blackman, Candidate for the AZ House for District 7
Walter Blackman, Candidate for the AZ House for District 7.

The first meeting was Called to Order at 10 am by Lisa Green, NCRC Chairwoman. An Invocation was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The session began with Shannon Fisk, Committee’s Secretary reporting that the required twenty percent of the active precinct committee members were present and there was a quorum. A discussion was then open to the members about how to disburse the available funds for contributions to candidates running for County Treasurer, Recorder, Assessor, School Superintendent, Sheriff, and Supervisor campaign contributions and expenses for radio ads, slate mailers, neighborhood walkers, text system, printing, and signs. When taking a hand vote of the credentialed precinct committee members, the budget was unanimously approved.

The second item on the agenda was to discuss the proposed changes to the by-laws regarding NCRC elections of officers. The by-laws of the Statutory Organizational Meeting define meetings are to be held on the first Wednesday after the General Election on even numbered years to elect the NCRC Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, State Committeemen and Precinct Committeemen.

The proposed change affects the by-laws of the Mandatory Meeting. This meeting is held to elect the Vice Chairs no earlier than the first Wednesday of November and no later than the fourth Saturday in December in odd numbered years beginning in 2025. Also included in the elections are those Precinct Committeemen desiring to run for any non-statutory office. 

After a short recess, a Special Election Meeting was Called to Order at 10:48 am by Lisa Green. This Special Session was to elect the delegates representing Navajo County. These delegates will vote at the State Convention in Phoenix on April 27 as to who will represent Arizona at the National Convention to be held in Wisconsin from July 15, 2024, through July 18, 2024.

There were thirty-one nominees on the ballot, only twenty-nine delegates were needed, with the remaining two nominees as alternates. Credentialed precinct committee members cast their votes. While the ballots were being counted, Arizona House Representative David Marshall (R) explained the Election Integrity Bill (HB 2785) that was introduced my House Representative Kolodin (R). In his explanation, Representative Marshall explained that Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed the bill twice, but with the joint efforts by the House and Senate, the Governor did sign the bill into law on the third try.

An excerpt from the bill:

  1. Prevents the Arizona military overseas from being disenfranchised by Congress and the electoral college votes will be counted.
  2. Ensures signature verification on early ballots in order to prevent identity theft.
  3. Ensure speedy access to ballot curing data to political parties to ensure voters are not disenfranchised.
  4. Allows counties to replace signature verification with voter ID for mail-in ballots returned to voting locations starting in 2026.
  5. Hard count chain of custody for mail ballots dropped off at polling places on Election Day.
  6. Prohibits accessing election results before ballot tabulation is complete and requires election officials to post system log files on the internet within 48 hours after ballot counting is complete to verify compliance.

Representative Marshall concluded his presentation by adding that Legislative District SEVEN had 37,762 more registered voters than Democrats as of March 18, 2024, bringing the total voters registered as Republicans to 70,302. The voters registered as Democrats totaled 32,540.

Before the session was adjourned, there was a presentation given by RaNae, who spoke about Precincts. A precinct is a district within a city or town marked out for administrative purposes. There are five districts: School Districts, Towns and Cities, Congressional/Legislative Districts, Board of Supervisor Districts and Justice of the Peace Districts.

Who determines the precincts within a district?  The Board of Supervisors in keeping with A.R.S. 16-411 draws the election precinct boundaries providing those boundaries do not extend beyond the borders of any other political subdivisions or election districts. Also, all the voters within responsibility a precinct share the same ballot style. A ballot style is the name of their precinct. Also included in her presentation was cleaning up the existing voter rolls. The process is done by comparing data from the Motor Vehicle Department, living Social Security recipients with the Poll Pads from the current election and the rolls from two prior elections as provided by Navajo County. If a voter has not voted for ten years, they are removed from the voter rolls. How much has the County accomplished will not be determined until next month.

Upcoming Events are as follows:

April 8 – Monday – Next Committee meeting will be held at George Washington Academy in Snowflake

April 27 – Saturday – State Convention will be held in Phoenix to elect the State Delegates to attend the National Convention in July 2024.

May 4 – Saturday – a women’s tea to be held at Annie’s Bistro in Pinetop. The theme is “Influence for Freedom” flowers and gift baskets will be raffled. Invitations are $30.

July 27 – Saturday – a fundraiser to be held at Camp Grace in Pinetop from 3pm to 6pm with live band music. The theme is “Family for Freedom” a side of beef will be raffled. $10 per person.

September 11 through 14 – Wednesday through Saturday – County Fair.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:15pm 



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