Election bill referendum will be held to higher standard

Mon, Sep 23 2013 — Source: Arizona Capitol Times

The referendum drive against an elections bill passed by the Legislature in June will have a tough standard to meet if it goes to court.

Referendums in Arizona are subject to a judicial standard known as strict compliance, which requires absolute adherence to the letter of the law. Initiatives and recalls, on the other hand, have historically been held to a standard called substantial compliance, which allows more leeway for technical errors.

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said the higher standard has little effect on the examination of signatures by her office. The county generally uses a high standard when it conducts its analysis of signatures for initiatives, referendums and recalls alike.

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