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Pearce petition checks running early

In this June 1 photo, Mary Geier (left), Mary Fontes (center) and Rosemarie Murch process the Pearce Recall petitions, which have now been turned over to the recorder's office for validation (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

In this June 1 photo, Mary Geier (left), Mary Fontes (center) and Rosemarie Murch process the Pearce Recall petitions in the Arizona Secretary of State's office. The petitions have since been turned over to the Maricopa County Recorder's Office for validation. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Processing of petitions to force a recall election for Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce is running ahead of schedule, increasing the possibility that an election would be held in November.

Spokesman Matt Roberts says the Secretary of State’s Office has finished its initial screening of the petitions submitted Tuesday and is giving them to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office to validate voter signatures on the petitions.

The Secretary of State’s Office had until June 10 to complete its work but finished Friday, a week early.

The recorder’s office now has until Aug. 2 to check the signatures. Other officials then must complete several other tasks.

The election would be held in November if the certification process is completed by Aug. 10. Otherwise the election would be held in March.

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