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Arizona Supreme Court ruling allows partisan Tucson elections

Tucson will be allowed to conduct its partisan city council elections despite what a state law says.

The Arizona Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling Friday upholding Tucson’s city charter. The state had argued Tucson partisan elections went against a 2009 law.

That law requires municipal elections be held without identifying partisan affiliations of candidates. It also bars Tucson’s practice of having voters citywide elect council members who are nominated on a district-by-district basis.

The ruling says “local autonomy” offered by Arizona’s Constitution permits Tucson to continue following its own charter. However, the court vacated a Court of Appeals ruling overturning the statute.

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