Arizona Education Network (AEN) volunteers gathered last night to watch Proposition 100 election results at Ann-Eve Pedersen's house. Some of the volunteers had been up the night before placing Vote YES signs throughout the city and others up early election morning holding signs up in high traffic areas.
"It's overwhelming," Pedersen said. "This sends a huge message to the Legislature and holds them accountable."
The AEN president had set up two computers in the house for volunteers to track votes from the Arizona Secretary of State and Pima County Elections websites. As early ballots started to come in, several volunteers were also amazed as the numbers showed the special election proposition was most likely going to pass.
Volunteer Jen Darland said those early numbers did indeed send a message, and that voters finally realized education isn't a partisan issue.
"I also think that because of this economic crisis parents know that the only way to make sure our children have better lives and a better chance is through education, and that's why it's not a partisan issue. That's what's so great about our group. The people here tonight are from all of the school districts in Tucson and they are also Republicans, Democrats and Independents," Darland said.
Volunteer Paul Eckerstrom, who's worked with Pedersen and the AEN on past school override campaigns, said the success of the special election makes him "hopeful about human nature" and gets the message across that not everyone in the state feels that "government is bad or that education is bad."
Despite what Legislators have been doing with education funding, Eckerstrom said Prop 100's win last night sends a message to lawmakers that "we want schools for our kids, and police and fire protection, and don't assume that we don't."