Voters Faced With 19 Propositions, School Bond, 11 Candidates On Election Day


Nineteen ballot initiatives will be placed in front of the voting public when the polls open Nov. 7.

Already, residents are casting their ballots. Early voting began Oct. 5 and continues until Oct. 27. More than 2.5 million Arizona residents were registered to vote in the Sept. 12 primary election -- 29,000 of those in Gila County. Registration for the general election closed Monday. Secretary of State Jan Brewer's office said the state's new online system, EZvoter, attracted a record number of new voters.

Proposition 100: No Bail for Illegals

What it means: Prohibits bail for illegal residents charged with serious felonies -- such as capital, sexual and molestation offenses -- if they entered or remained in the United States illegally.

What the sides say:

For: Concerns that illegal immigrants will make bail and flee across the border before standing trial, and if they do return to the U.S., they'll commit more crimes.

Against: Denies the constitutional rights of suspects to post bail just on the basis of their inability to prove current immigration status, and not the actual danger they pose to the community.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Will deny bail to persons charged with serious felonies if the person has entered or remained in the United States illegally.

No: Will continue to allow bail to persons charged with serious felony offenses who enter or remain in the United States illegally, unless the person is charged with an offense for which bail is not permitted under current law.

Proposition 101: 2006 Taxpayer Protection Act

What it means: This initiative curtails uncontrolled property tax increases. Over time, taxing entities such as municipalities and districts have built up the ability to levy heavy tax bills; this initiative takes away that power.

What the sides say:

For: Ensures that high property values do not translate into huge property tax increases. Reverts current tax levies to 2005 limits and resets annual tax increases to a stable 2 percent a year. It also requires voter approval for any tax increase of more than 2 percent.

Against: Hurts the most fiscally responsible cities and towns by eliminating their levying ability.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Requires taxing entities to calculate property tax levy limits based on the actual property taxes levied in 2005, and beginning in 2007, the new levy limit would increase by 2 percent per year plus any new construction.

No: Maintains current property taxing capacity for counties, cities, towns or community college districts.

Proposition 103: English as official language

What it means: Reaffirms English as the state's official language.

What the sides say:

For: Promotes immigrant integration and safety. Saves taxpayer money by not having to duplicate public documents.

Against: Says the law is racist and its divisive wording does not provide funding options or solutions to solve the language barrier.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Will require all official business to be conducted in English, requiring government to preserve, protect and enhance English as the official language, prohibiting discrimination against persons using English, and permitting private lawsuits to enforce the official English amendment to the Arizona Constitution.

No: Retains the existing provision of the Arizona Constitution regarding the use of English in Arizona government.

Proposition 105: State Land Trust

What it means: Preserves almost 43,000 acres of state trust land for conservation, giving the Legislature the option of allocating 400,000 more acres of rural land.

What the sides say:

For: Puts state land aside for preservation, recreational and grazing uses, and it establishes corridors for wildlife migration.

Against: Takes away funding from schools by giving away land that's allocated for that purpose. Gives too much authority to the Legislature.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Grants public rights of way and sale of conservation trust land to governmental entities without auction; local coordination of commercial trust land use; restricts development.

No: Retains current law on trust land.

Proposition 106: Conserving Arizona's Future

What it means: Creates a conservation reserve of 694,000 acres of public trust land. The board of regents can acquire this land for educational purposes such as buildings and research centers. Establishes a board of trustees to allocate the land.

What the sides say:

For: The sale of trust lands provides a significant funding source for schools.

Against: A politically appointed board without real estate or development experience will determine how to maximize the value of the land.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Sets aside 694,000 acres of state trust land in conservation reserve; establishes a board to plan and dispose of the land.

No: Retains current law regarding trust land.

Proposition 107: Protect Arizona Marriage

What it means: Bans same-gender marriage. Denies legal status for domestic partners.

What the sides say:

For: Gay marriages are destroying the institution of marriage. Protects children against the emotional trauma of being raised by gay parents and prevents the schools, the media, and the government from validating this lifestyle.

Against: Redundant and discriminatory. Arizona law already prohibits same-gender marriage. Cut domestic partners -- either straight or gay -- off from receiving employer and government benefits and the rights granted to family members, such as hospital visitations and decision-making.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Amends the constitution to require that only a union between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage by the state.

No: Retains the current laws regarding marriage, including a statutory ban on same-gender marriage.

Proposition 200: Voter Rewards

What it means: Awards $1 million to a randomly selected person who voted in upcoming primary or general election, including the 2006 election cycle.

What the sides say:

For: This type of incentive will encourage more voter diversity and turnout.

Against: Creates a population of uninformed voters who would create more harm than good by voting on issues they don't care about.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Establishes a $1 million lottery for voters who vote in the primary or general elections that would be funded by a percentage of unclaimed state lottery prize money and creating the Arizona Voter Reward Commission and Fund.

No: Retains the current laws regarding voting.

Proposition 201: Smoke-Free Arizona Act

What it means: Prohibits smoking in most indoor public places, including restaurants and bars. Exceptions include tobacco shops, outdoor patios, some hotel rooms, fraternal organizations and religious ceremonies. Increases the state tax on cigarettes from $1.18 per pack to $1.20 per pack.

What the sides say:

For: Protects nonsmokers against secondhand smoke in most public areas.

Against: Could affect the income of bars and restaurants. Too much government intervention.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Prohibits smoking in all public places and places of employment. Exempts private residences, tobacco stores, designated hotel/motel rooms, veterans and fraternal clubs, Native American religious ceremonies, and outdoor patios and requiring "no smoking" signs be posted where smoking is prohibited; imposes a tax of 2 cents per cigarette pack, continues to allow additional regulation by cities, towns and counties, and provides for enforcement by the Department of Health Services.

No: Retains the current laws regarding smoking in public places and places of employment.

Proposition 202: Arizona Minimum Wage Law

What it means: This initiative sets the minimum wage in Arizona at $6.75 per hour beginning in 2007, including an annual increase to account for cost of living. Adjusts the annual salary of a full-time worker from $10,712 to $14,040. Establishes a state minimum wage. Arizona doesn't have a minimum wage. So, it uses the federal amount of $5.15 an hour. Establishes exemptions.

What the sides say:

For: Without an increase of the federal minimum wage in a decade, people cannot live on the current minimum wage, which falls below the federal poverty line.

Against: Wage increases could financially hurt businesses that rely on minimum wage workers. The elimination of part time, entry level and transitional jobs.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Raises the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour with certain exceptions beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Provides for yearly minimum wage cost of living increases, requiring employers to post notices about employee minimum wage rights, establishing penalties for violations of the law and permitting private lawsuits to enforce the law.

No: Continues to follow existing federal minimum wage laws of $5.15 per hour.

Proposition 203: First Things First

What it means: Adds 80 cents to a pack of cigarettes and establishes the Early Childhood Development and Health Fund. It provides health and education services for low-income families, especially children. Local councils and a newly appointed state board will manage the program. Revenue for the first year is expected to generate more than $180 million.

What the sides say:

For: The new source of funding will provide a solid educational and health foundation for children with limited resources without draining the state budget.

Against: Unfairly taxes smokers to pay for an unrelated policy. Creates free day care warehouses that provide little educational advantage.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Establishes an early childhood development health care board and fund; increases the state tax on cigarettes (.80 cents/pack), cigars and other tobacco products; establishes regional partnership councils throughout the state to identify childhood development and health services needs at the local level; and distributes monies and grants to eligible programs that serve children up to 5 years of age and their families.

No: Retains current early childhood development laws.

Proposition 204: Humane Treatment of Farm Animals Act

What it means: Requires pregnant pigs, and calves raised for veal, to have enough space to turn around, lie down and fully extend their limbs. A violation of this law, if passed, carries a Class 1 misdemeanor.

What the sides say:

For: Profit-motivated farming outfits perpetuate inhumane treatment of livestock. These policies harm the environment, creating air, water and soil pollution.

Against: Special-interest groups exaggerate conditions. To come into compliance with the initiative, if passed, would amount to hefty, excess costs for the livestock and agriculture industries.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Establishes misdemeanor fines and penalties for tethering or confining a pregnant pig or a calf raised for veal for all or a majority of the day that prevents the animal from lying down and fully extending its limbs or turning around freely. Exempts transportation of the animal, rodeo and fair exhibitions, lawful slaughters, research, veterinary purposes and the seven-day period before a pig's expected date of giving birth.

No: Retains the existing laws regarding how pigs and calves are raised.

Proposition 206: Non-Smoker Protection Act

What it means: Bans smoking in some indoor places, except bars and separately ventilated bars inside of restaurants, and defines exclusions such as fraternal organizations. The measure takes precedence over existing local smoking ordinances.

What the sides say:

For: Allows establishments and adults to make their own decisions. Unifies policies, setting a statewide nonsmoking standard.

Against: Initiative doesn't go far enough to protect the health of bar workers and patrons.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Prohibits smoking in all public places and places of employment, except bars that prohibit minors and have separate ventilation systems, outdoor patios, homes, tobacco stores, designated motel rooms and fraternal clubs, Native American religious ceremonies. Prohibits minors in bars that allow smoking and will require no smoking signs be posted where smoking is prohibited.

No: Retains current smoking laws, leaving current municipal smoking regulations in place.

Proposition 207: Private Property Rights Protection

What it means: Changes eminent domain standards for redevelopment of slum and blight, including increased compensation for relocation. Restricts a municipality's use of eminent domain and forces governments to compensate property owners if a decision affects property values. Some of the wording could damage water regulation and land-use planning.

What the sides say:

For: Bolsters private property rights and limits eminent domain abuse.

Against: The initiative is excessive and an overreaction to eminent domain abuse happening in other parts of the country. If passed, new policies could create lawsuits, hinder the efficiency of municipal infrastructure and planning projects and stop rezoning efforts.

What you're voting for:

Yes: Establishes additional rights for individuals whose property is taken by eminent domain; defines "public use;" prohibits the taking of property for economic development; requires primary residences taken by eminent domain be replaced by a comparable dwelling and owner compensation for property values reduced by land-use laws.

No: Retains current eminent domain laws.

Other initiatives:

Proposition 104

The current law allows municipalities to incur debt up to 6 percent of the value of taxable property. The law also gives incorporated cities and towns, with voter approval, the ability to incur debt up to 20 percent of the value of taxable property to supply water, light and sewers and to acquire land for parks and preserves. Prop. 104 will permit cities and towns to build additional facilities for police, fire, emergency, streets and transportation within the 20 percent debt limit.

Proposition 205

Requires that all elections are held by mail and all ballots are mailed to every voter automatically. Eliminates polling precincts. Repeals sample ballots and preserves early voting laws.

Proposition 300

Only citizens of the U.S. or legal residents can receive in-state student or county resident status; are entitled to tuition waivers or financial and child care assistance; and can participate in literacy and adult education classes.

Proposition 301

A person convicted of personal possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia involving meth is ineligible for mandatory probation.

Proposition 302

Raises the salary of legislators from $24,000 to $36,000 a year.

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