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Arizona Medical Marijuana Vote Too Close to Certify

Submitted by David Borden on

Two days out, Arizona's medical marijuana vote is still too close to certify. With precinct reports submitted, but 374,000 mail-in and provisional ballots remaining to be processed, Prop 203 was losing 50.26% to 49.74%, 664,609 to 657,667 -- a difference of less than 7,000 -- according to unofficial results published by the Secretary of State's office. If support for Prop 203 among yet to be counted ballots varies upward from the state average by two percent or more, the measure will pass.

Lily Rose, cancer survivor and Prop 203 proponent
The chances that that will happen depend primarily on whether late mail-in or provisional voters constitute a statistically accurate sample set of the electorate at large for purposes of sampling support for the initiative. If they do, then the odds of beating the odds sufficiently in this last batch are infinitesimal. But if the group differs in political terms from the state at large, even in small ways, then the statistical calculations which say that are not valid, and anything could happen.

For example, late mail-in voters could hail disproportionately from Arizona's cities, including Democratic strongholds like Tucson or Flagstaff. Voters who sent their ballots in at the last minute, or who were classified as provisional because they forgot to bring ID, might be less organized than the average Arizona voter. But lower organization could correlate with being more "creative," which in term might correlate to support for liberalizing of drug laws. Just some speculations to ponder while we await the results -- we are probably looking at a week from tomorrow, according to a news release by the Secretary of State's office, with final certification later in the month.

IMPORTANT: If you or anyone you know is a "provisional voter" in Arizona -- e.g. you cast a ballot but your eligibility to vote was in question -- you have until Tuesday of next week, November 9, to get your proof of voting eligibility to your local election office. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO DO THAT, AND SPREAD THE WORD. If medical marijuana supporters in Arizona whose ballots are provisional mobilize on that over the next five days, that could very well win this for Arizona, which in turn would give drug policy reform one statewide victory this year.

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