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Phoenix votes no on Prop 105, clearing way for light rail expansion

(Twitter Photo/@valleymetro)

PHOENIX — Phoenix voters have decided to shoot down Proposition 105, effectively preventing a block on current and future light rail expansion projects.

Final results weren’t official, but early results showed residents voted no for the measure, which was posed to redirect light rail money to other transportation infrastructure improvements in Phoenix.

As of Wednesday night, 62.5% voted no compared to 37.5% that voted yes, according to Phoenix election results.

City of Phoenix officials said in an email about 15,000 early ballots still need to be validated and processed and that the next results update would not come until Wednesday evening.

Early voting began July 31 and ran through Friday at Phoenix City Hall, while polls were open at the city’s 28 voting centers Saturday through Tuesday.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who has vocally supported light rail expansion since taking office in March, thanked voters for their decision.

“Welcome to the Phoenix of the future — where we invest in our transportation, our parks and our libraries, and where Phoenicians, not outside special interests, decide what’s best for our city,” Gallego said.

Phoenix City Councilman Sal Diciccio, a supporter of Prop 105, expressed his disappointment with the results on Twitter.

“Like many of you, I am disappointed to see tonight’s election results,” Diciccio said. “I want to thank everyone who worked on these initiatives and who helped share our message throughout the city.”

A group called Building a Better Phoenix supported the measure. It’s made up of mostly residents and business owners along the planned Phoenix light rail expansion path.

In 2015, voters had approved a measure to spend $550 million for light rail expansion from downtown Phoenix east to the South Mountain Village core.

But in July, documents that Valley Metro Rail filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation and its Federal Transit Administration estimated costs at about $1.35 billion, which angered some residents.

Meanwhile, opponents of Proposition 105, including Mayor Kate Gallego and U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton of Arizona, campaigned to see the light rail continue to expand.

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