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Huge voter turnout increase in Phoenix since light rail was last on the ballot

Posted at 2:38 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 17:44:21-04

PHOENIX — Tuesday is election day in Phoenix, and voters are being asked to decide on Propositions 105 and 106.

A “yes” vote on Proposition 105 would change the city charter to end future light rail expansions and redirects city funds to other transportation infrastructure projects while a “yes” vote on Proposition 106 would require the city to pay down the pension debt before any increases to the budget can be made with the exception of first responder and public safety services.

The Election by the Numbers

Arizona voters heavily utilize early ballots and Phoenix voters are no exception. As of Tuesday, 169,525 ballots have already been returned to the city clerk’s office. This is already 45,000 more ballots than were cast the last time light rail was up for election four years ago as Proposition 104.

Turnout for the election is already at 22.3%, over a 3-point increase from 2015. This number does not include the several thousand ballots that are expected to be either voted in-person or dropped off at vote centers today.

So far, residents of council District 6 (Ahwatukee/Arcadia) have returned the most ballots at around 36,000. The district with the least number of ballots returned is 7 (South Phoenix), where the number is just under 10,000. This district is one of the areas in which the new light rail expansion will go through.

Polls are still open

For Phoenix residents that have yet to cast a ballot, they can still do so until 7 p.m. this evening at one of the voting centers located around the city.

Those voters not on the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) can vote in person at these centers. For those residents that are on the PEVL but have not yet returned a ballot, any center will accept a ballot that has been filled out, signed and sealed in the envelope.

PEVL voters that may have misplaced their ballot may also still fill out a provisional ballot at the centers as well.