[UPDATED:] Election 2010: 4:20 Alert! Where's the Prop. 19 Party?

UPDATED: With most current updates at the top.

10:30 p.m.: Okay, it's official. The Register is smoking some serious chronic. First they report that 60 percent of OC's conservative electorate wants to legalize weed. Now, the Reg is reporting that Republican senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina is pulling ahead of Barbara Boxer, who's already been crowned victorious by CNN. Maybe there's hope for Prop. 19 after all, but that's probably just the weed talking.

9:50 p.m.: Well, some guy named MarijuanaGuy is telling me that CNN says 60 percent of OC voters said no to Prop. 19. I double-checked and the Register is still claiming the opposite, i.e. that 60 percent of OC voters said yes. So who is smoking what? I really hope the Register is right, or at least that I'm not stoned right now, or worse, dyslexic, which would mean this whole numerical divergence is just a symptom of an undiagnosed learning disability for which I hear cannabis offers fantastic if short-acting curative opportunities.

9:00 p.m.: It might provide some comfort to Hawes that, according to numbers posted on the front page of the OC Register's website, OC bucked the anti-Prop. 19 trend, with 60 percent of Orange Countians voting in favor of the initiative. Wow. So California's most conservative county is full of potheads. 

8:35 p.m.:
Just over 30 minutes since the polls closed, and it looks like Prop. 19 is going down in flames. The results being shown on KCAL-9 are 55 percent no and 45 percent yes. OCNORML's Kandice Hawes, one of OC's biggest legalization advocates, reached at the LA law offices of Bruce Margolin, acknowledged that things aren't looking good.

"Kind of disappointing," she said. "I think a lot of people still have fears about it and are waiting for the perfect bill. It's a big bummer because it would have been a really big message to the rest of the country. We had chapters from all over the US making calls for us."

Hawes suggested that last-minute financial support from the likes of billionaire philanthropist and social reformer George Soros was too little, too late. "We couldn't have tried harder unless we got our money earlier," she said. "It sucks we got the biggest boost at the end."

In other pot-related news, recent Weekly cover gal Sue Lester is trailing in her bid to join Costa Mesa's city council. With only two spots open, the apparent victors are Jim Righeimer and Wendy Leece, with 33.6 percent and 30.4 percent of votes, respectively, trailed by Chris McEvoy with 23.1 percent, Lester with 8.9 percent and Chad W. Petschl with 3.9 percent.

It's 4:20 p.m. Do you know where your Prop. 19 election party is? 

That's a trick question: if you live in OC, there isn't one, according to Kandice Hawes, president of OCNORML. As of yesterday, she said, the closest election-watching party to OC was scheduled to take place tonight at the LA offices of famous pot lawyer Bruce Margolin. But even that shindig wasn't confirmed. Maybe it's because poll numbers recently show lackluster support for Prop. 19 among likely voters. Despite a barrage of TV ads urging support for marijuana legalization from the likes of San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamera, a strong vein of opposition runs through the debate from medical-marijuana advocates who view the proposed initiative as a major setback to cannabis rights.

You can read more about those concerns, as well arguments in favor of Prop. 19, in the Weekly's recent cover story on Prop. 19, which featured the perspectives of five local figures in the debate. And you can see their reactions to either the success or failure of the only statewide voter initiative in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use right here on Navel Gazing when this post is updated.

Meanwhile, what do you think California voters will do? How do you plan to vote? And dude: Did you remember to register?


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