High Turnout Expected As Phoenix Votes On $31.5B Transit Initiative, Mayor And City Council

Published: Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, August 24, 2015 - 11:19am
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Phoenix City Hall in downtown Phoenix.

Voters in Phoenix have three final days to cast their ballots in elections for city council, mayor and on several propositions, including a multi-billion dollar transportation referendum.

The city expects turnout to be higher than normal, because of the massive $31.5 billion, 35-year initiative known as Proposition 104.

Assistant City Clerk Ben Lane said the bar was set four years ago when current mayor Greg Stanton won the open seat in a runoff. 

“That was actually the highest turnout in the vote in the city’s history," he said.

But before that, Lane said, it was similar initiative 15 years ago that drove voters to the polls. 

"The second highest turnout was Prop 2000, which was kind of the first comprehensive transportation master plan the city put forth, and that was in the year 2000," Lane said. "So definitely something like Prop 104 does seem to drive voter turnout.”

If passed, the funds would upgrade roads, bike lanes and public transportation. But it would raise the city’s sales tax. 

The city ballot also has four other propositions and the incumbent Mayor Stanton facing a challenge from businesswoman Anna Brennan and educator Matt Jette.

Many Phoenicians have already been heard from, with 90-95 percent of registered voters having already sent in ballots in advance of the three-day voting period Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.