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State Supreme Court to decide if Tucson can hold elections in odd-numbered year

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The State Supreme Court is set to decide on whether or not the City of Tucson will be able to hold elections in 2021 instead of an even-numbered year.

For over 100 years, the City of Tucson has held odd-year elections, thanks to a charter they have in place.

"Frankly, we're the only one who does them in odd number years," Steven Kozachik Ward 6 Councilman said. "One of the reasons we do that is we're the only thing on the ballot. So people don't have to go searching for city issues."

Back in November 2018, the issue was brought to voters who ultimately decided to keep elections at odd years.

Now, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is taking matters to the State Supreme Court in an effort to make the city comply with a 2018 law that requires city and towns to hold elections in even number years.

In a press release, Mark Brnovich said the cities ordinance may violate the state law. Also siting the cities ordinance is a cause for low voter turnout.

"During the 2018 statewide general election, turnout within Tucson city limits was 67%. However, turnout for Tucson's off-cycle 2019 election was a meager 39.26%. By law, this significant decrease in turnout would require Tucson to hold its next city election on the statewide election dates in 2022."

We reached out to Mayor Regina Romero who gave the follow statement.

"This is another attempt by our state legislature to micromanage and undermine our ability to self-govern as a city," Romero said. "Our city elections are a matter of local concern, which has been reaffirmed by Tucson voters on several occasions. It's sad that some state legislators are more focused on meddling in local elections than issues of real, statewide concern such as the COVID-19 crisis."

If the State Supreme Court rules in the states legislature's favor it would mean the City of Tucson would have to hold their next local election in 2022 instead of 2021.

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Denelle Confair

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