Resolution For Parity In Arizona Petition Gathering Could Make Voter Initiatives More Difficult

By Holliday Moore
Published: Monday, February 25, 2019 - 11:47am

Supporters behind an Arizona proposal requiring petitioners collect signatures proportionately from all 30 legislative districts say it would level the playing field between urban and rural communities.

"This common-sense measure requires organizers who intend to pass permanent legislation or constitutional amendments that impact the entire state to have the buy-in representation of the entire state and demonstrate support from more than just a couple of urban centers,” said Sen. Sine Kerr of Buckeye, the author of one bill mirroring another in the House.

But, Sandy Bahr with the Grand Canyon Chapter Sierra Club reminded supporters it took an initiative to give Arizona women the right to vote back in 1912. And, tougher restrictions would have kept other meaningful, but controversial legislation from passing.

"Banning leg-hold traps, snares and poisons on public land,” she rattled off as examples she has faced while lobbying for environmental causes, “[The] Legislature wouldn't address it,” and, she continued, “Advocates of banning cockfighting tried for 50 years to get the legislature to do something.”

Supporters argue that even if the resolution passes both the House and Senate, it would need a majority of voters to ratify it on the 2020 ballot for it to become a law.