Low turnout hampers Arizona installers' cause

Saturday, October 1, 2005

GOODYEAR, Ariz.--Low overall voter turnout and a successful get-out-the-vote effort by the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona accounted for the September defeat of fire sprinkler referendums in the cities of Goodyear and Avondale, said city officials.
A mandate to require fire sprinklers in all newly constructed single-family homes passed by city councils in both cities earlier this year. The HBACA opposed the mandate, and spearheaded a petition drive to bring the question before the voters as a referendum known as Proposition 400.
Paul Smith, Avondale Fire Chief, and others, pointed out that not very many voters got to the polls, but the HBACA did manage to get opponents of the referendum to the polls.
City clerks in both cities said typically 25-percent of registered voters turn out for special elections, however, only 10- to 11 percent of registered voters made it to the polls on Sept 13.
In Avondale, a city of 60,000 people, Proposition 400 was defeated 1,393 -1,244. In Goodyear, 942 supported the measure and 1,222 voted against Proposition 400.
The percentage of people who voted early early voting was higher than normal in both cities.
The city of Goodyear has 45,000 residents.