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Recount confirms defeat of Proposition 112

A recount has confirmed that Arizona’s Proposition 112 failed by the slimmest margin in state history.

The ballot measure would have moved up the deadline to submit signatures for a citizen’s initiative by two months. It failed by 194 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, which oversaw the state’s first-ever recount of a ballot measure.

The first count following the Nov. 2 election showed the measure had failed by 128 votes, triggering the recount because the margin between rejection and passage was so thin. More than 1.5 million votes were cast on the measure, with 792,664 votes to pass the measure and 792,858 votes against it.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett said the slight shift in vote totals was expected given the large number of ballots being re-tabulated, but the final count was still very close from the original tally, the Secretary of State said.

“This exercise confirmed the accuracy of our voting system and should give voters confidence in the integrity of Arizona elections,” Bennett said.

Proposition 112, which the Legislature referred to the ballot, raised very little support or opposition during the election season, presumably because it called for a technical change to a process that very few voters have experienced.

The measure would have shaved two months from the period in which Arizona residents can gather signatures to put a citizens’ initiative on the ballot. Instead of turning in signature petitions by July 1, the measure would have set a deadline of May 1, which would have made it more difficult for groups to collect the required number of signatures.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers supported the measure, arguing that the date change would give election officials enough time to ensure that signatures are properly filed, counted and verified. The way it is now, they said, there isn’t enough time to properly verify whether the signatures are valid.

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