Maricopa County Recorder

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  • Candidate picture

    Adrian Fontes

  • Candidate picture

    Helen Purcell

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Biographical Information

Why are you the best person for the job?

What makes you the best candidate for the office of County Recorder?

What would be your three highest priorities for the Recorder’s Office if elected?

What is the most important topic not being discussed about the Recorder’s Office?

Is the Recorder’s Office sufficiently funded? If not, what should the funding level be and how would you achieve that?

In a perfect world where cost is not an issue, what would you do to improve the office?

What is the next step in modernizing voting?

Should Arizona still be required to submit election plans to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval? Why or why not?

Should more be done to educate voters on the basic act of casting a ballot, and if so, what?

Should independent voters be allowed to cast ballots in an open primary?

Should there be a short buffer period of several days after an election when ballots are accepted and counted, as California now allows?

What is the best piece of political advice you ever received?

What is your favorite book (besides a spiritual text)?

What favorite movie has meaning for you?

What is your favorite place in Arizona?

Which Arizona political figure past or present do you most admire and why?

Age 49
Family Married 23 years, 3 daughters, ages 11,8 and 6.
Education Arizona State B.A. (summa cum laude) University Honors College. Univ. of Denver J.D. Sturn College of Law
Work history United States Marine Corps - 4 years active duty, honorable discharge Assistant District Attorney, Denver DA's Office Deputy County Attorney, Maricopa County Attorney's Office Assistant Attorney General, Arizona Attorney's General's Office Adjunct Professor, Phoenix College Private Law Practice
Twitter @electfontes
Previous public office N/A
Campaign Phone (602) 900-4130
How long have you lived in Arizona: Born in Arizona, Adrian has lived in the State for all but 5 years.
how long have you been registered as a member of your party: Over 25 years
Previous public offices you’ve sought/held: House Representative LD24
Civic organizations in which you’ve been active: Acacia Lodge Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona Save Roosevelt Row
I have defended your right to vote as a US Marine. I have served our Constitution as a Prosecutor in Colorado and Arizona. I have defended individual rights in difficult circumstances against Municipal, State and Federal Governments. During my entire adult life, I have done nothing more than enjoy the privilege of advocating for and defending our Constitution. As my (US Marine Corps) squadron's election officer, as a classified materials controller and as an attorney whose practice has focused exclusively in the area of constitutional rights, I have a broad and deep understanding and appreciation of your right to vote. I bring energy into this office. My willingness to engage people, all people, and include them in the process of their own self-governance makes me the best person for this job.
After four years active duty in the US Marine Corps and 15 years as an attorney I have never denied any eligible American citizen the right to vote.
First, I would work to make the office party neutral. No political party should have any sway or influence over the administration of our elections. Second, I would bring back a robust kids-voting programs all over Maricopa County. American's children should be prepared to appreciate and participate in our Democracy. Third, I will engage the technological community and explore new methods for making our elections more secure and more accountable to the voters. The integrity of our system has suffered long enough. I will work hard to restore the trust our deteriorating system has lost.
The County Recorder is not making any efforts to utilize the incredible resources available to pay for and bolster our elections system. The current administration makes excuses while millions of dollars of HAVA (Help America Vote Act) funds sit in an account...ignored.
The County Recorder's Office (according to the last annual report released in 2011) indicates that the office is a revenue generator. The excuses made by the current administration, alleging a complete lack of funding, require a suspension of belief. Moreover, where voters' constitutional rights are being violated, the County Recorder should be an active and engaged advocate, at all levels of government, pushing for proper funding. The lack of energy, effort and motivation, to advocate for more funding in support of voters, is the greatest funding problem which impacts Maricopa County's voting population.
The Maricopa Country Recorder Office is a revenue generator, the idea that budget constraints prevent access or information for voters is a choice made by the current county recorder. Resources such as the Help America Vote fund sit and go unused while Arizona voters wait in line.
Without sacrificing ballot security, the possibly of online voting should be explored. Additionally, expanding access for Americans with disabilities, home bound Americans, and absentee (for example, deployed military) voters should be part of a comprehensive plan to insure accountability and accuracy in our elections.
The current administration's abject failure, unfortunately, is clear evidence that federal oversight would have been useful this year. However, a new administration, one which prioritizes the voter over a long political career, would make federal oversight far less necessary, if at all.
It is the responsibility of the County Recorder to inform voters of the time, place, and manner by which the voter can exercise her right to vote. The five hour long lines suffered by voters in March shows, without any doubt, a total and complete lack of voter education effort. Had there been any sufficient plan to complete this basic task by the current County Recorder, the failure in voter education would not have occurred.
All positive changes to the current method of election administration should be explored, and if deemed appropriate in Arizona, adopted. However, any change should only be made with the following in mind: every eligible American citizen voter shall be insured the ability to cast a secure and accountable ballot.
Keep survey answers brief.
The Bear Snores On. Each of my three daughters love it. The words have a brilliantly musical rhythm and when the bear finally wakes-up at the end of the book, the rest of the animals start snoring. It's a great bedtime story.
Star Wars. As mythologist Joseph Campbell described it, the hero's journey is part of our human DNA. With a view to tomorrow and the possibility that our core Western values can extend beyond time and place, this movie opened endless possibilities in the imaginations of artists, scientists, students and generations of movie goers.
There's nothing like taking my family to my alma mater and watching a Sun Devil football game. With a grudging nod to our friends South of the Gila River, I just love watching the Maroon and Gold pile out of the Tillman Tunnel.
I most admire Associate Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. She represents a fairness and respect for the American people, a deep and clear understanding of the Constitution, and a graceful strength rivaled by few in the history of our State. She rose above partisanship for years, and played a pivotal role in our Nation's history as a key swing vote on our highest Court. Yet Sandra Day O'Connor never lost her humility. She represented Arizona's independent spirit at the highest level anyone ever could. The United States of America is a better Nation because of her tenacity, her intelligence and her willingness to sacrifice.
Age 84
Family Widow of Joe Purcell; Sons, Mark (deceased) Todd; 4 grandsons and I great granddaughter
Education St. Mary's Academy, Amarillo, TX
Work history Recorder - 27 years; Stewart Title & Trust of Phoenix 4 years; T.J.Bettes Mortgage Co. 5 years
Twitter @votepurcell
Previous public office None
Campaign Phone (480) 232-5547
How long have you lived in Arizona: 52 years
how long have you been registered as a member of your party: 45+ years
Previous public offices you’ve sought/held: None
Civic organizations in which you’ve been active: Arizona Foundation For Legal Services & Education (Immediate Past President), Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic; Kids Voting Arizona
I believe I have a good record over my 27 years of bringing technology into both the recording and election process. We continue to expand our electronic recording process which now sees 80% of the 3,000+ daily documents sent to us electronically. We currently have 9 interactive Recording Kiosks around the county, mostly in our libraries for our customers in the outlying areas of the county, the only recording office in the country with this technology. We are working with other departments in the county to add additional services to the Kiosks. Our current election was purchased in 1996 and upgraded in 2006 and I have talked with the Board of Supervisors about the possibility of a new system in he next few years. We have a voter registration system which was created in house by our IT staff and which is constantly being improved. I serve on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission's Board of Advisors, put in place by the Help America Vote. I believe I am the most qualified.
My experience in office these past 27 years I believe puts me in a unique position. I have worked on legislation at both the state and nation to improve both the recording and election laws and processes. I serve on several national committees such as the EAC Board of Advisors, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (setting standards for future election systems) and the National Association of Counties Board of Directors. I served for 4 years as chairman of the NACo IT Committee and currently service as vise chair. I hope to continue to work on the important work of these organizations as well as working with the Secretary of State to improve our processes here in Arizona.
Expanding our Recording Kiosk program. Improving the election process and experience. Planning for a new election system.
The most important topic not being discussed - the business done on a daily basis by our recording staff. We record 3,000+ documents every, most of it electronically and display on the internet for our residents all recorded documents dating back to June of 1871. Our back file conversion allows all of these images to be displayed at no charge. We removed all social security numbers that might have appeared on any document. Our office does million of dollars in commerce every day in a virtually seamless process. This recording process was also designed in house by our IT staff. It all makes me very proud.
We have two budgets, one for recording and the other for elections. I believe we have sufficient funds for the recording process since we collect an additional fee with each recording which must be used for automation. Because of automation, we have been able to maintain the same level of funding for a number of years. The election budget is what we struggle with, you may recall that this years there was an issue with funding from the state for the Presidential Preference Election. We will continue to adjust our charges to the various jurisdictions and we will continue to work with the legislature on sufficient funding.
I don't believe that cost is always the issue. Many services can be improved, some of them without much cost. In a perfect world, every citizen would have everything they need at their fingertips.

As I mentioned before, we will need to look at a new election system in the very near future.
We continue to adhere to the requirements of the Justice department when planning an election. The number of precincts for our Primary and General Elections were approved by Justice in 2012, we continue to rely on their surname analysis for our bi-lingual poll workers, ADA compliance at our polling places in still under their guidelines. Except for sending them a report, we still adhere to their guidelines.
There should always be more done to educate the voters especially if in a presidential election, because we know that some voters only vote in a presidential election. The media can certainly help in that regard. The various notices and sample ballots are one way but parties, other groups and the media certainly can be a tremendous help.
Independents are allowed to choose a ballot in the primary currently. If the parties want to open up their nomination process, which is what a primary is, it should be up to them.
I believe we give the voters sufficient time to vote and get their ballot to us currently. Early voting is 27 days before an election, we have 21 Early Voting locations for the Primary and General election.
Be true to yourself, and be proud of yourself.
One of my favorites is "Where Have all the leaders Gone" by Lee Iacocca
"The King's Speech" told a fascinating story of someone who has a speech impediment and the struggles he has, the help he got from a stranger who became a friend. There are so many people who need just a little help and a few tools to improve their lives.
Greer, Arizona
There are several like Betsey Bayless, Gov. Rose Mofford, Polly Rosenbaum, to name a few. But I guess I would have to say Gov. Jane Hull. She has been a friend for years, a mentor from the very first campaign I worked on in 1974. As a legislator, speaker, Secretary of State and Governor she handled some very tough issues and times with amazing confidence. She was able to get people from across party lines to come together to solve problems.