Arizona Legislature Wants Cities To Hold Elections On Even-Numbered Years

Published: Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 7:22am
Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 9:35am

Arizona Republican lawmakers voted Wednesday to set up a system that could force cities to move their elections to even-numbered years — but there’s a catch.

Cities could keep their elections to odd-numbered years if the difference in turnout is within 25 percent of what it was during either of the two most recent statewide elections.

If turnout drops below that trigger, then local elections are declared illegal. Democrats objected.

"Local government is where it's at. That's why we treasure local control. And I see no reason to hammer down on cities and refuse them their local control," said Mitzi Epstein.

Lawmakers tried to pass something similar in the past but the state Court of Appeals called it unconstitutional. The judges ruled, at least when it comes to the state's 19 charter cities, they have a right to decide matters of strictly local concern. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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