Athletes know it’s bad karma when they look beyond the next game, to a future contest of promised importance. In baseball, it’s referred to as packing up the bats before the final out. Outside of sports, the familiar idiom is “…counting chickens before they hatch.”
We don’t want to discourage voters from participating in Tuesday’s primary election, but we can’t help but look beyond those outcomes to the questions that are expected on the Nov. 3, general election ballot. If you haven’t turned in your early ballot for the primary, drop it off promptly at any of the Cochise County offices in Benson, Willcox, Sierra Vista or Bisbee. If you plan to vote in person, plan on stopping at any of the 17 vote centers across the county on Tuesday to cast your ballot.
Looking forward, all Arizona voters will have to make up their minds on the four initiatives that are expected on the Nov. 3 ballot. Legalizing marijuana, taxing the rich to fund education, increasing pay for hospital workers and reforming Arizona sentencing laws to empower judges with greater flexibility in issuing penalties, are probably going to make it to the statewide ballot.
Two of the questions face legal challenges — marijuana and the education tax — but pundits see it unlikely that either will fail to reach the ballot.
That leaves these four questions up to Arizona voters.
Between now and Nov. 3 we anticipate all-out campaigns promoting each of these initiatives. Early polling suggests that decriminalizing marijuana, Proposition 207, has the best chance of being successful in the statewide referendum. The most recent poll, conducted by OH Predictive Insights showed 62 percent of Arizona voters support legalizing marijuana, up from 51 percent in December.
Gov. Ducey is strongly opposed to the initiative, and he plans to vote against the health care and education tax as well. Last week he made his positions public, arguing Prop. 207 isn’t needed since the state approved medical marijuana in 2010. He referred to the legalization initiative as a “…bad idea based on false promises.”
The Governor also opposes Proposition 210, which would collect a “surcharge” from high-income earners to support education in Arizona. He sees it as a significant tax at a time when the economy is depressed due to the pandemic.
That’s the same argument Gov. Ducey referred to in his opposition to Proposition 208, indicating the 20 percent increase in pay for hospital workers would dramatically increase health care costs at a time when more people are uninsured and earning less money.
It’s important local voters educate themselves on each of anticipated initiatives before they receive their ballot. These are questions that have the potential to fundamentally change the way of life in Arizona, and for some, significantly increase the amount of taxes they pay.
Sierra Vista voters will have an especially difficult ballot on Nov. 3, deciding on at least one write-in candidate for the city council. The expected dismissal of one candidate from the ballot, who has not contested a felony offense, will leave voters with just two candidates for three seats.
We urge the three candidates who have expressed interest in earning a council job with write-in votes to mount a strong campaign that lets local voters know who they are, and what they stand for.