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Restriction on citizen ballot initiatives going to court

Posted by   /  June 9, 2018  /  No Comments

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By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Several organizations are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to void a law they say will make it more difficult for groups like theirs to put initiatives on the ballot.

All voter-proposed ballot measures must be in “strict compliance” with every election law./Adobe stock

But they have to get the justices to let them sue in the first place.

In new legal filings, attorney Roopali Desai is attacking the 2017 law that says all voter-proposed ballot measures must be in “strict compliance” with every election law. By contrast, the law up until that point, as interpreted by the courts, has required only “substantial compliance.”

That distinction is critical. It means that minor errors that courts might consider innocent, like signatures on petitions outside the lines, erroneous dates entered by signers, and differences in type sizes and margins, would require judges to throw out signatures and potentially entire sheets of signers.

What the new law has done, Desai said, is chilled efforts by groups to craft their own initiatives.

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