On election night, many of us watched the polls for hours waiting for the final results of not only the presidential election, but state ballot initiatives as well. Out of all the initiatives hoping to legalize marijuana, the only one we saw fail that night was Proposition 205 in Arizona, which would have legalized adult use of marijuana and created a commercial industry to tax and regulate the plant. Unfortunately, by the end of the night they called the loss with a 51.8% “No” vote – leaving many Arizonans disappointed.
However, while the rest of the state was quick to make the call on election night, not all the ballots had been counted yet and due to the closeness of the race, activists and those running the Yes on 205 campaign have refused to say they lost until every last vote is counted. At this point, according to the Arizona Secretary of State website, Prop 205 lost by only 85,228 votes – and the number of votes that have yet to be counted far exceeds this, so there is a very slim chance that Prop 205 could still pass when the count is finalized.
The only votes left to be counted are from Maricopa County and include both early votes and provisional votes – all of which will have to be verified before they can even be counted. There were 167,000 votes yet to be counted as of Friday evening, and if more than that 85,228 are “yes” votes then Proposition 205 would have in fact won in this election and activists would have been right not to call the race too soon. However, it is still a pretty long shot, but not entirely impossible.
At this point, it comes down to those votes in Maricopa to determine whether or not Prop 205 passed or failed on November 8th. Sadly with such a large number of “yes” votes to fill, it seems unlikely as they would need over 75% of the uncounted votes to be in their favor for it to pass – but we will keep our hopes up until the very end. After all, Maine’s ballot initiative, Question 1, passed by less than 3,000 votes and while it is subject to recount, the chances of a change in the outcome are slim.