Backers of a referendum on a controversial state elections law gathered more than enough signatures to put the issue before voters next year, the Arizona secretary of state announced Tuesday. It is the first citizen-driven effort to qualify for the ballot since 1998. The legislation being referred to voters next year, among other things, would allow elections officials to drop people from the permanent early-voting list if they have not voted in two previous federal election cycles, limit who can return a voter’s ballot to the polls, and hike the number of petition signatures that minor-party candidates and Democrats need to run for statewide office. It also would make it more difficult for citizen-driven initiative efforts to qualify for the ballot.
The group needed to provide 86,405 valid signatures to put the elections law on hold until the general-election vote, in November 2014. Based on a random sample, the secretary of state found the measure had 110,770 valid signatures, for an 81.7percent validation rate.
“Today is a big win for Arizona voters,” said Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee.
The matter, House Bill 2305, combined a number of hotly contested election-law changes in a bill that was approved in the waning hours of the legislative session. It passed almost exclusively along party lines, with only one Republican, Rep. Heather Carter, breaking ranks to oppose it.
Full Article: Arizona election referendum qualifies for 2014 ballot.