By Luige del Puerto
Arizona Capitol Times
Judge John Rea found that 577 signatures earlier disqualified by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office were actually valid.
An appeal of the case is considered likely. The “Top Two’’ initiative had been disqualified by the Secretary of State’s Office because of a lack of valid signatures.
Proponents of the measure, known officially as the “Open Elections/Open Government Act,” tracked down many of the people who had signed the petitions and demonstrated that their signatures were legitimate.
That changed the invalidity rate in a sample that had been used to reject the initiative. As a result, Rea concluded that the initiative actually exceeded the number of required valid signatures to put the initiative on the ballot by more than 6,000.
The initiative seeks to replace the primary system for electing officials with a system where the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will advance to the general election.