The referendum effort against HB2305, the law making sweeping changes to Arizona’s elections, has the necessary valid signatures to force a referendum election on the law during the 2014 election.
Though three counties are still validating signatures, the effort already has more than 100,000 signatures validated – well over the 86,405 necessary to force a referendum election.
According to figures provided to by the secretary of state’s office, 5,242 signatures have been deemed valid by county recorders’ offices across the state. By law, that figure is multiplied by 20 – the signatures sent to county recorders were a random sample totaling 5 percent of the total – giving the referendum effort 104,840 valid signatures, far more than the 86,405 needed to put the law on hold until voters weigh in on the 2014 ballot.
Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the Protect Your Right To Vote Committee, which spearheaded the effort, hadn’t heard the committee would make the ballot – barring any successful legal challenge – when he was contacted him today.
“We want to wait until everything is in until we pat ourselves on the back, but I think it looks very good. The numbers show the very high quality of work, not just on the paid signature gatherers side, but on the volunteer side,” he said.
In the three counties that have not finished their validation so far, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, and Yuma, another 438 signatures await validation. Even if all those signatures were invalid, the effort would only have 34,340 signatures invalidated, using the 5 percent sample.
So far, not including the three remaining counties, the signatures had an 81.6 percent validity rate overall. That is well above the average for Arizona citizen initiatives, according to Sherwood.
But Barrett Marson, spokesman for the anti-referendum effort, said they still may bring a legal challenge against the referendum.
“There are still a lot of issues to be resolved. Obviously some of their signature gatherers have significant issues with residency and felonious conduct. So this is far from over,” he said.
The highest invalidity rate came from Maricopa county, which had 21.7 percent of the signatures invalidated. That was followed by Pima County, which invalidated 18 percent of the signatures.
Final numbers are due from the remaining counties by Nov. 4.