Robert Robuck: Voter Registration Form “Lost in the Mail”

Democrat Robert Robuck, who hopes that voters will back him over Pima County Supervisor Ramon Valadez in the Sept. 2 primary, has never voted in Pima County.

Robuck, who moved here from Sacramento, Calif., four years ago, says he tried to register once but the form must have been “lost in the mail.”

Robuck only registered to vote in Arizona earlier this year. He insists he always voted when he lived in California, but when he moved to Sahuarita with his family in 2004, he had other things on his mind.

Robuck was first busy building his home and caring for a sick relative. He says that when he finally finished building the house in 2006, he and his wife registered to vote by mail. When they went to vote in the February election, they discovered his wife was registered but he wasn’t.

“Then I postponed it and then I finally filled out the forms and went down to the (MVD) and then made sure I was registered so I could vote in this (upcoming) presidential election,” he says. “At that time I didn’t know I was going to run for office. It wasn’t until April when I threw in my name.”

Robuck says friends have warned him not to say his first attempt to register to vote failed as a result of bad postal service.

“But it’s the truth,” he says. “It got lost in the mail.”


Supes Candidate Joe Higgins Blows Off Voting in Primaries: “Just haven’t done it”

Republican Joe Higgins, a local businessman who hopes to unseat District 1 Supervisor Ann Day in September’s GOP primary, has himself only voted in one primary since registering in Pima County. Higgins has voted in most statewide general elections, although he sat out 1994 and 2002 entirely and never voted in any city elections when he lived inside the Tucson city limits.

Higgins says he only really started getting involved in politics a few years ago, which is why he voted in the 2006 primary.

Higgins, whose business endeavors have included a chain of barber shops and cell-phone stores, makes no excuse for not voting in the primaries. “Just haven’t stepped in, just haven’t done it,” he says.

Higgins also voted in the 2006 RTA election. But he has never voted in a county bond election, even though he’s critical of recent increases in property taxes—part of which is driven by voter-approved debt. He’s also missed out on voting in any city primary or general elections when he was registered inside the Tucson city limits between 1987 and 2004.

Asked if he had been irresponsible when he sat out the bond elections, given his concerns about rising property taxes, Higgins responds: “That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for you there.”

Democrat Ephraim Cruz: Didn’t Understand Arizona Well Enough To Vote

Although he’s asking for votes from Democrats in the seven-way super-slam in Legislative District 29, Ephraim Cruz has only voted three times since moving to Arizona 10 years ago.

Cruz, a former Border Patrol agent who was forced out of the federal agency after complaining about the treatment of illegal immigrants while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, moved from New York City to Arizona in 1998, but did not register to vote in Cochise County until 2004, according to Cochise County records. He voted in the 2004 primary and general elections.

Cruz skipped the 2006 election cycle and registered to vote in Pima County in the fall of 2007. He voted in for the third time in Arizona in the February 2008 presidential primary election.

Cruz tells ScrambleWatch ’08 he didn’t vote more often because he didn’t have a firm grasp of the local political landscape.

“I’ve taken the time to understand Arizona politics,” says Cruz. “I come from a whole different world in New York City…. Also, being the Border Patrol, I was limited in my involvement in politics.”

Cruz concedes that the federal Hatch Act, which limits political activity by federal employers, did not prohibit him from voting. But he said the “tumultuous nature” of his life prevented him from updating his registration and casting a ballot.

“I had various places that I lived and only became settled in October of 06,” he says. “So that’s when I felt comfortable registering to vote, when I had a place I could call home and I was stable. It took that long to get into a position of stability.”

Do other candidates have lousy voting records? Stay tuned to find out!