By Jim Small | Arizona Mirror
Arizona is on pace for a record turnout in the 2018 midterm elections. With roughly 172,000 ballots left to be counted, turnout already stands at more than 60 percent, and likely will eclipse the 60.47 percent of the electorate that cast ballots in 2006.
The surge in turnout carried Democrats to victory up and down the ballot in Arizona, but it will also have an effect on elections for the next four years: The estimated 2.4 million ballots cast will make it much more difficult for groups to place initiatives on the ballot or block laws passed by the Legislature by sending them to voters.
Citizens initiatives and referenda – when laws are sent to the ballot for voter approval – happen when the required number of voters sign a petition. The number of signatures needed is determined by how many people voted in the most recent gubernatorial election.
Elections officials have already counted 2,155,731 votes in the governor’s race between Doug Ducey and David Garcia. It’s likely that figure will grow by at least 150,000 by the time the last vote is counted, making the total number of votes cast in the race more than 2.3 million