Secretary of State Completes Preliminary Review of Referendum Petitions

Michele Reagan

On August 8, 2017, Save Our Schools Arizona filed an estimated 9,078 petition sheets containing 111,540 signatures in support of R-02-2018.

The Secretary of State’s Office has completed its preliminary review of referendum petitions in accordance with Arizona law, and has determined that the committee filed 9,291 petition sheets.  Of these, 8,950 petition sheets containing 108,224 signatures remained eligible for random sampling and County Recorder review.

A 5% random sample of these signatures has been sent to the County Recorders for signature verification under Arizona law.  In order for the measure to qualify for the 2018 General Election ballot, the County Recorders must collectively validate at least 3,767 signatures (or 69.6%) from the random sample.

The deadline for County Recorder review is September 11, 2017.

Read more about Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan here.

Proposition 121 Corrupts Arizona’s Election System

Well before Election Day, voters throughout Arizona need to get the message that Proposition 121 is a hoax, a major fraud designed to convince citizens that the measure will open the political system to more candidates and voters.

Mislabeled the Open Elections Open Government initiative, the measure does the exact opposite. It is the Closed Elections Closed Government initiative. Arizona voters must not be fooled.

A close look at Proposition 121 reveals a cynical scheme that will eliminate voter choice, foster political corruption and advance extremists by abolishing party primaries and eventually destroy political parties themselves.

Proponents of 121 want to hijack the political system so they can elect candidates of their own choosing and take candidate selection out of the hands of the voters. Unable to compete in the primary system as it exists, they propose an end to the system that has served voters well for decades.

The proposition would abolish party primaries and establish one primary open to all candidates and all voters. The top two finishers in the primary would face off in the general election. Party identification by candidates would be optional.

That is the real flaw in Proposition 121. Voters would have no way to verify the accuracy of  a candidate’s party identification. With no party primary system to verify candidate identification, the system would be open to sham candidates hand picked and financed by special interests out to fool the voters.

What is worse, millions of voters could be left with no choice in a general election if the top two primary finishers represented the same party. With nowhere to turn on Election Day, voter turnout would plummet as citizens would simply give up and stay home.

This already has happened in California where there will be 28 elections this fall with no voter choice due to top two primaries.  Contrary to top two primary advocates, voter turnout was not up in the state’s June primaries and the primaries did not produce more so-called moderate candidates.

Under Proposition 121, candidates with extreme views easily could manipulate their way into a general election. Voters need only recall how the top two system in Louisiana once produced a run off between a candidate with a history of KKK leadership and a corrupt politician who was convicted and went to jail.

Proposition 121 would give political insiders and unscrupulous consultants the vehicle they want to corrupt the candidate selection process. Special interests would pour millions into primaries to elect sham candidates.

The voters need clear choices. They need confidence in the honesty of candidate identity. They need protection against corruption in the election process.

The party primary system provides these safeguards. Proposition 121 destroys them. The measure should be soundly defeated on Election Day.