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State Supreme Court gives green light to MCCCD at-large seats

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Elections for two new at-large seats to the Maricopa County Community College District governing board will take place, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled today.

The court voided a July Court of Appeals ruling that found a 2010 law adding the two seats to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court order nullifying the lower-court ruling did not provide the court’s reasoning, but as with all other expedited election cases, the court will issue the written ruling in a few months.

The ruling came in time for elections officials to put four candidates on the ballot for the Nov. 4 general election.

The Court of Appeals had sided with a group of office holders, education officials and activists who claimed the law violates the Arizona Constitution’s prohibition against “special laws” because it applies only to Maricopa County.

The MCCCD governing board consists of five members who are elected based on the same district system used by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. But the 2010 law, HB2261, mandated that counties with populations of at least 3 million people must add two at-large seats to their community college district boards.

 

The lower court accepted the plaintiffs’ evidence that the second and third largest counties, Pima and Pinal, won’t hit the 3 million population threshold for several decades — and other counties won’t for hundreds of years.

 

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