Court upholds registration requirement for petition circulators

Former Attorney General Terry Goddard in July submitting petitions to put a ban on “dark money” into the Arizona Constitution. The Arizona Supreme Court blocked the measure from going on the ballot after signatures gathered by some circulators were disqualified. /Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a legal tactic used by those seeking to keep voter-proposed laws off the ballot.

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, the justices reaffirmed the right of people to craft initiatives and seek to have them approved.

“And we are reluctant to impede such civic efforts,” they said.

But Justice John Lopez, writing for the court, said there is nothing unduly burdensome about requiring paid circulators to register and provide an address where they can be subpoenaed. More to the point, Lopez said throwing out the signatures collected by those who don’t show up in court does not impair the constitutional rights of people to propose their own laws.

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