Adrian Fontes has worked hard to bring the voting process for Maricopa County Residents into the Twenty-First Century.
During his first term as Maricopa County Recorder, Mr. Fontes and his team have created a more open and transparent Recorder Department.
They have also endeavored to speed up the voter check-in process, improve the ballot tabulation infrastructure process, and recruit more personnel to tabulate ballots at a faster pace.
By running for reelection, Mr. Fontes wants to finish the work he has started at the Maricopa County Recording Office.
Over plates of waffle fries and oatmeal at the Jotbot Café in Phoenix, Mr. Fontes sat down and relayed why he wants to seek reelection and what he hopes to accomplish in a second term.
The questions and responses are below.
- Please tell the reader what are two reasons you want to run again for Maricopa County Recorder.
“The work is not done yet. Maricopa County needs the validation of accountability, transparency, and good voting experience. When I get reelected the voters will have said they want open, valid, and free and fair elections.”
- Please tell the reader what are the three achievements from your first term that you are most proud of?
“When we had a problem, we dealt with it directly and publicly. Our issues are the public’s issues. They deserve to know and that we are handling it.”
“Openness is number one. By bringing the public and office closer together through the Community Relations Team, we have been able to hold roundtables with various stakeholders These events bring up to 100 people together;, we listen to them, work through issues and come up with solutions”
“Another achievement is being able to build a civil relationship with the Board of Supervisors. We are genuine partners now. We are achieving a lot together. I prefer to annoy political bases as long as the product is good.”
- Please tell the reader two regrets that you have from your first term.
“I wish I had followed my gut better in August 2018 instead of using an outside company for the primary election voting locations when several polling sites did not open. It turned into a positive because we ended up having cooperation from other parts of county government to correct that issue.”
- Please tell the reader what are at least two goals you have for your second term if you win reelection?
“One is behind the scenes, documenting all the policies and procedures for the entire office. When we got in, there was no guidance. We did a lot of internal housecleaning. We need to get better at civic education. We need to find a way without an election looming to inform the people. We need to find a better way to get into the colleges and high schools and convey why it is important to vote. There is a significant lack of civic education that needs to be addressed.”
- What are at least two reasons you would be a better Maricopa County Recorder than your Republican opponent?
“Because I don’t care who wins or loses and they do. I was motivated because Americans didn’t get a chance to vote. They (the opposition) are motivated by conspiracy theories and fact-free accusations.”
- Please tell the reader anything you would like to know about yourself or the new campaign not covered in the previous five questions.
“The destiny of the American Republic is literally in their hands.”
Recorder Fontes is right that it is essential to inform and convince all qualifying residents that it is important that they exercise their right to vote.
There is no Democracy and there are no Republics if people do not choose to participate in the system.
Arizona voters in 2020 will need to decide if they want the person from a party who encourages voting or a person who comes from a party that looks for ways to suppress that right.
It does not seem like a tough choice to make.
Featured Image courtesy of Gerri Hernandez