Proposition 203 Still Has Hope; Arizona's Medical Marijuana Measure Could Still (Maybe, Possibly) Win


Don't exhale just yet, because Proposition 203 could still win.

The medical marijuana measure is behind by only 6,732 votes out of 1.3 million cast, as of 9:47 a.m., the most recent update on the Arizona Secretary of State's Web site.

All but two of 2,239 voting precincts in the state have reported, but those two are in Pima County, where the medical marijuana ballot measure did well.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of early votes dropped off the polls and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

The measure still has a fighting chance. All that has to happen is for the negative trend to shift in those uncounted votes -- just a little. 

Pima County election officials still haven't gotten back to us.

The pro-pot measure passed with 57 percent of the vote in Pima County, while Maricopa rejected the measure by 51 percent. Could that make the difference when all the ballots are counted, even though Pima's overall vote totals will be smaller?

It's too early to tell.

The Tucson Weekly is reporting that as many 50,000 ballots remain uncounted in Pima County, including 25,000 early ballots dropped off at the polls and another 25,000 provisional ballots.

In Maricopa County, it's possible that as many as 100,000 early ballots were dropped off at the polls yesterday, speculates says Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for Maricopa County Elections. Provisional ballots also need to be counted - those are the ones used when a mistake is made somehow, causing another ballot to be used.

Helen Purcell, the Maricopa County Recorder, is likely to announce the best estimate of uncounted votes later today or tomorrow, Reed says.

As with the follow-up to August's primary election, we'll be obtaining numbers throughout the day from Matthew Benson, the spokesman for the Secretary of State's office, as more votes come in and get counted.

This race is so close, it may be a few days before a final outcome is determined.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.