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.
Organized labor has every right to promote initiatives. Labor-backed initiatives often resonate with the electorate and occasionally with editorial boards.
But labor doesn’t deserve a special edge. For this reason, Gov. Jerry Brown should veto Assembly Bill 857, a loaded piece of legislation that masquerades as initiative reform.
Assemblyman Paul Fong, a Silicon Valley Democrat, said in three press releases that he proposed to “ensure the sanctity of the initiative process” by requiring that unpaid volunteers gather some signatures to qualify statewide ballot measures.
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I am not a big fan of recall elections. This example of direct democracy is largely an artifact of the progressive era in American politics, when it was assumed that state legislatures were corrupt gaggles of bought-and-paid-for politicians. Allowing the voters to send the rascals packing ahead of schedule was supposed to be a remedy for the said corruption.
It rarely works that way. It is the responsibility of elected legislatures to deal with genuine corruption, either in their own assemblies or in the executive branch of the government. When they fail to do so, it is the responsibility of the voters to remember that in the next regularly scheduled election.
Officials with Anchorage municipal unions say they have turned in more than enough signatures to place a measure before voters that would repeal a law restricting union powers.
Unions turned in 22,136 voter signatures, more than triple the required 7,124 to place the measure on the ballot, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.
The Anchorage Assembly voted 6-5 on March 26 to approve what Mayor Dan Sullivan calls The Responsible Labor Act. The law prohibits union members from going on strike and eliminates binding arbitration.
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The Oregon Supreme Court handed down a decision Thursday that requires the proponents of a right-to-work ballot initiative to rewrite the ballot title that Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum originally approved.
The initiative title, sponsored by attorney Jill Gibson Odell, currently says, “BALLOT TITLE: Prohibits compulsory payment of union representation costs by public employees choosing not to join union.”
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A new Arizona law that would make it more difficult for minor-party candidates to land on the ballot and prohibit some political groups from collecting absentee ballots before Election Day will likely be put to a vote next year after opponents of the measure turned in significantly more than the required number of signatures last week.
The bill enrages Democrats and representatives of smaller parties who say it makes it harder for legitimate voters to cast a ballot, and for third-party candidates to gain access to that ballot in the first place.
Supporters of the referendum turned in more than 146,000 signatures, 60,000 more than required to force a vote.
A final, frantic effort is underway to get voters to the polls Tuesday in two state Senate districts where Democratic lawmakers face ouster for stricter gun laws passed in the 2013 legislative session.
State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo are in the fight of their political lives in an election that has attracted national attention and money.
The polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
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After 30 minutes of praise to God and several rollicking, hand-clapping hymns, John Morse stepped to the glass pulpit and offered a prayer of his own.
“We need you to reach down deep,” Morse, the state Senate president, told about 100 worshipers seated Sunday beneath a vaulted ceiling at Grace Be Unto You Outreach Church. “I need you not to just support me,” he said, slowing down to emphasize each word. “I need you to vote no.”
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Colorado Peak Politics gathers the latest early votingÂ data inÂ El Paso County, aÂ recall election against State Sen. John Morse is in progress:
12,174 total early votes
ACN (Constitution Party): 37
Democrat: 4,023 (33 percent)
Republican: 4,923 (40 percent)
Unaffiliated: 3,052 (25 percent)
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Million-dollar campaigns, saturation advertising and massive canvassing have become commonplace in U.S. elections, especially in a swing state such as Colorado. A campaign underway there has all of the above – in a recall vote for two state senators that has become a showdown over gun policy and political dominance in a changing state.
Democratic state Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse voted to require universal background checks for gun purchases and to ban large-capacity ammunition magazines. Colorado passed the restrictions in March, within a year of mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. Gun control opponents have mounted a campaign to kick them out of office; voting ends Tuesday.