by Jim Nintzel
It appears that voters will have a chance to decide the fate of the HB 2305, the omnibus election overhaul passed by the Arizona Legislature in the final days of the session. (You can find details on the law here.)
Opponents of the bill turned in about 146,000 signatures last month to force a referendum on the law, which will put it on hold until voters can decide its fate on the November 2014 ballot. To qualify for the ballot, the Protect Your Right To Vote Committee needed 86,405 valid signatures.
Political strategist Robbie Sherwood expects that following a review by the county recorders across the state, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office will certify the petitions with about 112,000 signatures this week.
“I can't say what the other side will do, but that is an overwhelming cushion,” Sherwood says. “We had an unprecedented 80 percent verification rate under strict compliance standards. There is just not going to be some magic technicality that nobody has yet seen that is going to invalidate 30,000 of our signatures.”
But Barrett Marson, a spokesman for two political committees that support the law, says his groups will go to court in an attempt to invalidate a number of signatures based on the argument that some of the petition passers were ineligible to collect signatures in Arizona.
“There are thousands upon thousands of signatures that are likely to be invalid,” Marson said. “It’s early in the game yet.”