Thursday, November 04, 2010

Psst! I gots a proposition for you...

Everybody knows about the Republican gains in Tuesday's elections, but there hasn't been significant coverage of the ballots propositions.  There's been a little, but...

Anyway, on to the results.

Note: all numbers have been rounded, and the final margins could change due to early and provisional ballots.

Proposition 106, the anti-health care reform amendment to the AZ Constitution:  Approved by the voters 705,000 to 569,000.  Benefitted from more than $2 million in funding, mostly from the health insurance industry.

Proposition 107, the anti-affirmative action amendment to the AZ Constitution:  Approved by the voters 752.000 to 511,000.

Proposition 109, the amendment to the AZ Constitution to create a right to hunt and fish equal to other constitutionally-protected civil rights like free speech and freedom of religion.  Also would have prevented voters from passing any ballot questions that would have effected wildlife management.  Failed 569,000 - 724,000.

Proposition 110, an amendment to the AZ Constitution that would allow the exchange of state trust lands near military bases for other lands.  Failing right now, but at 625,000 - 631,000, it's still close enough to flip once all ballots are counted.

Proposition 111 - an amendment to the AZ Constitution that would have changed the job title of the Secretary of State to "Lieutenant Governor" and compelled the primary winners from each party for Governor and Lt. Governor to run as a ticket.  Sloppily written - also would have disenfranchised independent candidates and voters.  Failed 522,000 to 745,000.

Proposition 112 - an amendment to the AZ Constitution that would have reduced the amount of time available to collect signatures to put a question on the ballot.  Failing by approximately 1600 votes as of this writing.

Proposition 113 - an anti-union amendment to the AZ Constitution.  Heavily funded by secretive industry groups.  Passed 775,000 - 502,000.

Proposition 203 - legalizing Medical Marijuana.  Still close, but leading at this point by approximately 7000 votes.

Proposition 301 - ending the voter-mandated and -protected Land Conservation Fund and sweeping the monies into the state's general fund so the lege can give them to corporations in the form of tax breaks.  Failed 329,000 - 934,000.

Proposition 302 - ending the voter-mandated and -protected First Things First, an early childhood education and health program.  Failed 393,000 - 895,000.

Summary:  the demonization measures (anti - healthcare, affirmative action, and unions) passed easily, while the ones that reduce the influence of the voters (Lt. Gov. signature deadlines, overriding previously approved voter initiatives) have failed or are failing.  Medical Marijuana is passing, as it has passed many times before, but by the closest margin in its history.  It may still flip as provisional ballots and late arriving early ballots are counted.

Bottom line:  while demagoguery worked for the Rs in terms of the candidate races and the three demonization amendments, when it came to practical issues of governance, the voters haven't toed the R party line.  There's a lesson there.

Some local ballot questions (mostly Scottsdale, with a few others thrown in for fun):

Scottsdale bond question #1 (transportation infrastructure) - Failed 25,000 - 33,000

Scottsdale bond question #2 (public safety infrastructure) - Failed 24,000 - 34,000.

Scottsdale question 411 (restricting the City's use of eminent domain, pushed by American Water to prevent any possible takeover of its operations in Scottsdale, no matter how much contaminated water it pumps to its customers here) - Passed 26,000 - 23,000.

Scottsdale question 412 (keeping the City from expending money on an organization like the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Congress) - Passed 26,000 - 24,000.

Scottsdale 413 (removing the Charter requirement that the City Council address citizen petitions in a timely manner) - Failed 23,000 - 26,000.

Scottsdale 414 (clarifying the status of the City's charter officers, including requiring that the City Treasurer's position be filled independently and not by another Officer, such as the City Manager) - Passed 24,000 - 23,000.

Scottsdale 415 (relating to clarifying which City employees are subject to direct Council control) - Passed 25,000 - 23,000.

Scottsdale 416 and 417 (housekeeping measures mostly, that clarified unclear language in the charter) - Passed comfortably.

Mesa 420 (a new spring training facility for the Chicago Cubs) - Passed 51,000 - 30,000.

As for school-related questions, generally speaking, budget overrides (even those that were just continuations of long-standing overrides) failed while bond questions for infrastructure improvements passed.  In other words, the voters in those areas voted to have schools with pretty exteriors and little substance inside of them.


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