Calling a referendum drive misleading, a state senator has launched a campaign to keep voters from overturning extensive changes to voting laws made by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, wants to collect funds to counter the petition drive that would force a public vote on the provisions of HB 2305. The provisions range from allowing election officials to stop sending early ballots to some voters, to putting potential new legal hurdles in the path of people who want to propose their own state laws and constitutional amendments. Reagan said each of the sections helps ensure the integrity and fairness of elections.
The senator would not say who will fund her effort, dubbed “Protect Our Secret Ballot.” But Reagan said she has been in contact with officials of the Arizona Republican Party and local GOP organizations. Referendum proponents — foes of Reagan’s legislation — already have a jump-start.
New campaign finance reports show the United Food and Commercial Workers Union already has contributed $50,000 to help gather the signatures to put the issue on the 2014 ballot. The Arizona Education Association has added another $25,000.