Arizonans For Affordable Electricity Trying To Block Clean Energy Initiative

Published: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 4:33pm

The state's largest electric company hopes to block a public vote on a renewable energy initiative by charging that initiative organizers purposely submitted signatures that were invalid.

The initiative, Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, submitted 329,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. Attorney Brett Johnson represents Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, which is financed by APS parent company, Pinnacle West. He isn't disputing the number of signatures, but he still hopes to convince a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to ignore that fact.

“What our whole premise is is that if you flood the system with enough signatures, you in essence are breaking the system,” Johnson said.

He plans to use testimony from the initiative’s campaign manager, in which she said two days before the deadline, there were more than 220,000 valid signatures. That is short of what’s needed to qualify for the ballot. The attorney for the initiative said her testimony is legally irrelevant, and the only thing that matters is what the county election officials found.

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