The 1990 election campaign will be extended in Arizona until Feb. 26. A bill setting that date for a runoff gubernatorial election between Republican Fife Symington and Democrat Terry Goddard has been approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Rose Mofford (D).
Symington edged Goddard 49.7 to 49.2 percent in the Nov. 6 election, receiving about 4,200 more votes, but short of an absolute majority because minor candidates received more than 11,000 write-in votes. State law requires that a governor be elected by a majority of the votes cast.
The two Native American members of the state House objected to the runoff bill, saying that voters on the Navajo reservation would be disenfranchised because heavy snow on reservation roads at that time of year would trap them at home. Rep. Benjamin Hanley (D-Window Rock) filed a formal protest with the Justice Department, which must approve all changes in Arizona election laws because of previous violations involving Indian and other minority voters.
The bill provides for no write-in candidates. It also suspends campaign contribution limits to allow people who made maximum contributions to the candidates during the general election campaign to donate again for the runoff.
Voters added the runoff requirement in reaction to the 1986 gubernatorial election in which Republican Evan Mecham, who was later impeached and removed from office, won a three-way race with 40 percent of the vote.