Yesterday, Protect Your Right to Vote committee, which last month filed more than 146,000 signatures to require Arizona voters to decide the fate of HB2305, filed suit in Maricopa County Superior Court.
A number of signatures that County Recorders in Cochise, Pima and Pinal counties compared with voter registration rolls were disqualified in error. There were questions of whether some of the voters were registered to vote at the time they signed the petitions; other questions of addresses not matching but the voter still being a registered voter in the county at issue; and other questions of dates either missing or incomplete.
To qualify and compel the measure to be on the 2014 general election ballot, roughly 62 percent of the signatures have to be found to be valid. Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the committee, says he is confident Maricopa County's verification process will validate signatures at a high enough rate to make certification of the referendum very likely. The three counties sued in the action filed yesterday validated 82 percent of the signatures. The lawsuit may end up being unnecessary (moot) and therefore ultimately dropped. They won't know until the other counties finish their examination of the petitions. That should be within the next few business days.
This suit was filed Friday because there is a five day time limit after a county finishes the examination and turns in it's report to the Secretary of State. Cochise, Pima and Pinal finished on Monday. The other counties are still working on the project.
The significance of each signature, whether it qualifies or gets disqualified is that it represents 20 signatures because only a five percent (or 1/20th of all of the signatures) sample of signatures is being examined. The initial review by the Secretary of State threw out about seven thousand signatures for various strict compliance issues pursuant to A.R.S. 19-201.01. The measure will be on the ballot as long as the total signatures deemed valid is more than 86,305 or roughly 62 percent.
If you're interested, read the ten page lawsuit for yourself.