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AG Mayes says Tucson isn't required to recount the results of a ballot measure

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said Wednesday  that the city of Tucson is not legally required to conduct a recount of a local ballot measure. 

In November, Tucson voters narrowly approved Proposition 413, a ballot measure to increase the salaries of the mayor and City Council. It passed by just 289 votes out of more than 94,000. 

That’s less than half of 1% of the votes cast in the local election — a threshold that would trigger a recount in state statute.

But City Attorney Mike Rankin said at the time that a recount was unnecessary, because state law only triggers automatic recounts for statewide ballot measures. Mike Braun, director of the state’s legislative council, disagreed, and said a recount is required. 

Tucson officials asked Mayes to weigh in, and the attorney general’s opinion sided with that of the city. 

“If the Legislature had intended to expand the recount article to encompass municipal elections more broadly, as opposed to just municipal officer elections, it could have said so. It did not. Therefore, the city of Tucson is not required to recount the election for Proposition 413,” Mayes  wrote in her opinion.

The measure as passed will more than double the mayor’s salary from $42,000 to $96,000, and more than triple the salaries of City Council members from $24,000 to $76,600.

Rankin did not respond to a request for comment.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.