Morning Poll: Is Arizona Better Off Without Matching Funds?

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The United States Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the matching funds provision of Arizona's Clean Elections law is unconstitutional.

The matching funds portion of the law was designed to give the little guy a fighting chance in state and local elections when faced against a candidate capable of raising a lot of money.

Under the matching funds system, publicly funded candidates are given lump sums for their campaigns. If an opponent spends his or her own money, and exceeds the initial lump sum, "clean" -- or publicly funded -- candidates get matching funds from taxpayers to level the playing field.

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Morning Poll: Will Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Run for House Seat in 2012?

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Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues to make tremendous progress in her recovery after getting shot through the brain during the January 8, Tucson shooting rampage, and her closest friend in Congress, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, says the wounded congresswoman will return to Congress.

"I do think she's going to come back to Congress," Wasserman Schultz recently said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America. "I mean, the progress she's making, from what I understand, she's on track for that to happen. Not sure when, but she's making tremendous progress, and we're all very proud of her."

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Prop 203 Recap: From Distant Hope to Victory; Final Numbers Show Measure Won

Categories: Election 2010

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The passage of Proposition 203 will go down as one of the most memorable elections in state history.

The final numbers are in, and Arizona's medical marijuana has won by 4, 341 votes. There's no turning back. The Maricopa County elections department, in a bulletin sent moments ago, reports that Monday's update will be "minimal."

Just three days ago, the measure appeared to be riding an unstoppable wave to defeat. This historic election was a nail-biter of epic proportions for observers on both sides. On Election Day, November 2, the measure looked to have been narrowly defeated. Numerous blog sites and a few reputable media outlets, like the Phoenix Business Journal, called the race for the "no" side.

Days went by in which the measure hung in there, but didn't seem to be gathering enough steam to pull off a win. A new trend developed in the last couple of days of counting provisional ballots and then, in the Friday's evening vote count, the measure bounced from losing by 700 to winning by about 4,400.

An apparent miracle, to supporters. To opponents -- sorcery.



Scroll down for links to all of our blog posts on the issue since Election Day, filled with hundreds of great comments from our readers:


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Prop 203 Appears to Have Won; Remaining Ballots Unlikely to Reverse Trend

Categories: Election 2010

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Image: Ray Stern
Andrew Myers reacts on Friday evening to vote counts that show Proposition 203 is winning by a comfortable margin

Andrew Myers of the Marijuana Policy Project has been on edge since Election Day.


Then came the 5:35 p.m. update of vote results.


Observing the results from a small office in downtown Phoenix with his girlfriend and a couple of others, his demeanor suddenly changes. Instead of looking worried, he turns giddy.


"This is great," he says. "This is exciting."


Proposition 203, which had trailed until this afternoon, is now leading by about 4,400 votes.


About 8,000 early ballots and 2,000 provisional ballots remain to be counted in Maricopa County. But the pro-203 trend seen in the last few tens of thousands of provisional ballots processed bodes extremely well for the measure.


If it took a miracle to get this thing over the hump, it looks like another miracle will be needed for it to lose at this point.

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Prop 203 Up by 4,200 Votes -- Looks Like It's Gonna Win

Categories: Election 2010

​Proposition 203 is now winning.

Arizona's medical marijuana bill leads by 4,200 votes following counts of provisional votes today.

Thousands of votes remain uncounted, but the new trend looks like it will be hard to beat.

 

Prop 203 Spokesman: "We're Likely to Win" Based on Trend of Provisional Ballots

Categories: Election 2010


Andrew Myers, the campaign manager for Proposition 203, tells New Times tonight that he's very hopeful the medical marijuana initiative will come out on top when all the votes are in.


It seems like wishful thinking, but official figures show he might be right.


Myers points out that provisional ballots counted in other counties are skewing much more favorably toward the "yes" side than the general ballots. This effect can be seen in the "vote type summary" section of election results on the Secretary of State's Web site. The provisional ballots so far counted give 10,953 votes to the "yes" side and just 7,029 to the "no" side.


If that trend holds up when Maricopa County counts its 41,000 remaining provisional ballots, Prop 203 would go from losing by about 3,000 less than 1,500 votes (as of Thursday night) to winning by several thousand, Myers says.

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Prop 203: Friday Deadline More a Suggestion Than Deadline. Results Not Expected Until Next Week

Categories: Election 2010
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If you were expecting to learn the fate Prop. 203 -- Arizona's medical marijuana initiative -- tomorrow, don't hold your breath. Election officials don't expect to be done counting ballots until next week, which violates election statute, but, as we just found out, is not that big a deal.

From the Arizona Capitol Times:

The fate of three close statewide propositions may not be known until next week as Maricopa County elections officials need more time to process a record number of early ballots.

The county had 60,000 ballots left to count as of about noon on Nov. 11, and county workers will be unable to process all of them this week, said Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell. She expects processing to be completed by Nov. 15 or 16.

According to state election law, however, ballot counting needs to be completed "within ten calendar days after a general election," which happens to be tomorrow.

That, apparently, aint happenin'. And according to the Secretary of State's Office, and an expert in election law, it's not the end of the world.

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Prop 203 Update: Closer, but No Cigar -- Yet

Categories: Election 2010

Proposition 203's chances of passing rose a bit today, then fell some.

With 89,000 early ballots and provisional ballots left to be counted, the game isn't over yet.

But the "yes" votes just can't seem to get a solid break.

Just before 4 p.m., the gap between "yes" and "no" votes closed further than ever, according to the Secretary of State's Web site. Opponents were ahead by only 2,376. That should have heartened supporters, because the pro-203 trend seen last night seemed to be continuing.
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Center for Community Change Affiliate Group Apologizes to Arizona and Ruth McClung for "White Bread" Ad

Categories: Election 2010

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Ruth McClung received an apology today for a political ad that likened her to "white bread."

The Washington D.C.-based Campaign for Community Change apologized today for mailing an ad in Arizona that likened the opponent of Congressman Raul Grijalva to "white bread."

Grijalva, a Democrat who's now infamous for urging a boycott of Arizona, barely won his election against Ruth McClung, a 28-year-old political newcomer and Republican.

The ad sent to Congressional District 7 voters was paid for by the Campaign for Community Change, which is the lobbying and election-influencing arm of the Center for Community Change. Our blog post yesterday referred to the organization being "union-backed," but we learned today that's not the whole story. It's also funded by liberal groups and rich folks like George Soros -- which seems to make the ad as hypocritical as it was reprehensible.

We left messages yesterday for both Grijalva and the Change group. Grijalva's office hasn't called back, but we were somewhat surprised -- and gratified -- to hear such a strongly worded apology from the D.C. group.

"We unequivocally apologize ... to Ruth McClung and all the people of Arizona," Jeff Parcher, spokesman for both the Center and Campaign for Community Change, tells New Times. "(The mailer) was developed and distributed by a vendor and we did not exercise proper oversight. We are regretful, because the Campaign for Community Change is committed to building an America in which we can all work together." 


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Prop 203 Still has Chance: Lead by Opponents Shrinks Again

Categories: Election 2010

 

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Image: Wikimedia Commons
Here's a Wikimedia shot of "Purple Erkle" for our commenter in the last post who wanted to see some "purps."
No matter which way this thing goes, it's been a hell of a race.

The fight for Proposition 203, Arizona's medical marijuana measure, is still on as of Monday evening.

Another positive blip for 203 in the late vote counts put the measure at only 3,800 votes behind, according to the latest figures. This means the weekend reversal of the pro-203 trend has been reversed.

The failure to widen the lead of the opponents is good news for 203 supporters. If you want to stay optimistic that 203 will pass, no one could blame you.

 

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