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

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.

Myers hugs his girlfriend and starts calling friends and family. Then reporters start calling.

"We're up by a very comfortable margin now -- it feels very good," he says to one.

Meanwhile, Carolyn Short of Keep Arizona Drug Free, the group that opposed the measure, sounds kind of stunned when we reach her by phone.

"Of course I'm disappointed," Short says. "But I'm thrilled at how well we did."

Short's not ready to concede yet, not with a few thousand votes still uncounted and the roller-coaster ride of the last few days.

Her group was funded, in part, by $10,000 from the Arizona Cardinals. Just like those Cardinals to lose in the final minutes of the game, isn't it?

About 8,000 early ballots and 2,000 provisionals remain to be counted in Maricopa County, the election department reports. All other votes are in.

The remaining votes could tip the scale back the other way. However, the early ballots have been trending about 50-50, so the "no" side won't pick up much there. The provisional ballots tended to skew so positive for 203, it seems more likely the final vote count will boost the "yes" side even more.

UPDATE: The win is official.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.