Organizations Ask Arizona Supreme Court To Void 2017 Voter-Proposed Ballot Measure Law

By Bridget Dowd
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Monday, June 11, 2018 - 10:04am
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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.

Attorney Roopali Desai is attacking the 2017 law that says all voter-proposed ballot measures must be in strict compliance with each and every election law.

Strict compliance means 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.

Desai said up until that point, as interpreted by the courts, only substantial compliance was required.  

"Under a substantial compliance standard, petitions are validated even if certain minor defects exist, such as the voter put the date in the zip code column and the zip code in the date column,” Desai said. “All the information that's required is on the petition. But they're just not in the precise location that they are supposed to be."

Desai hasn’t had a chance to make that argument. A trial judge and the Arizona Court of Appeals threw out the case, saying that the new law has yet to be enforced.

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