Arizona is trying to sneak one in on us! Just this week – a full month after the legislature’s target date for adjourning this year’s session – a new bill has been introduced, Senate Bill 1493, which tosses caltrops in the path of citizens petitioning for initiatives, referendums or recalls.

A group trying to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is again paying professionals to gather signatures from voters in a bid to force a recall election against the lawman.

Fundraising difficulties had prompted the group to stop using paid signature gatherers nearly two months ago and instead rely on only volunteers.

But recall organizer Lilia Alvarez says the paid signature gatherers resumed their work for her group Wednesday after contributors followed through on pledges to donate money.

Read More: Here

Arizona: Leave recall rules alone

Mon, Apr 29 2013 — Source: AZ Central

The Arizona Constitution gives us the recall election to enable us to remove elected officials who are not doing an effective job and do not appropriately represent the majority.

The spirited legislative Republicans are upset that the current recall method was able to remove Russell Pearce from the Senate, although the majority of people got what they wanted. The system worked! Therefore, GOP legislators proposed House Bill 2282 to circumvent the current, effective recall method by adding a primary election to get a result wanted by only a few.

Let the system that’s in place work. No change is necessary per our state Constitution in this matter. The people should decide, not the politicians who are taking away our rights.

Citizens in Maricopa County, Arizona, may not see a recall election for their controversial sheriff, Joe Arpiao. The current recall effort, spearheaded by the group Respect Arizona, has reportedly collected over 200,000 signatures, but that remains well short of the 335,000 signatures required by May 30.

With time running short, the group is hoping to raise additional funding beyond the $300,000 they’ve spent on the campaign so far.

“It’s one signature at a time,” Respect Arizona Campaign Manager Lilia Alvarez recently told reporters. “What people tell me is yes I want to sign or I’m too afraid to do so and that’s the same for donors.”

The effort to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is approaching its last month needing more than 130,000 valid petition signatures to force an election.

Organizers of the recall effort on Monday said they have collected 200,359 signatures, still far short of the 335,000 signatures they are required to file by May 30 to force Arpaio into a recall election.

Read More Here

One of the perks of incumbency is the ability to make it harder for your opponents to one day sweep you out from office.

The Republican-led Arizona Legislature has embraced that truism this year with two election overhauls aiming to protect ambitious incumbents while also creating new hurdles for voters looking to give unpopular politicians the boot.

Read more: Here

I am sympathetic with the legislative effort to provide for both a primary and a general election in the event of a recall, championed by Rep. Steve Smith.

The recall process is being abused. And this reform, House Bill 2282, would eliminate the abuse.

Recall is intended as a remedy for new information or behavior that wasn’t known to voters at the time the reprobate was last elected. Instead, it is being used to rerun elections under terms opponents think increase their odds of winning.

Former state Senate President Russell Pearce wasn’t recalled because he lied to voters or did something other than what he said he would do. In fact, Pearce was recalled for doing precisely what he told voters he would do.

The Arizona House of Representatives has passed a bill on a party-line vote adding a primary election to all voter-initiated recall elections.

Majority Republicans pushing the bill argued it was needed to prevent the ouster of elected officials who are targeted only because of their party affiliation. Democrats say it’s designed to protect incumbents.

Read More: AZ Central

Some Arizona legislators want to provide extra time for individuals to consider a petition. But which individuals do they have in mind?

State Senator Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, thinks the courts need extra time.  With that in mind, Reagan has proposed a bill, SCR 1006, to move the filing deadline up two months. At face value, Reagan wants to ensure any contentious petition challenges have a chance to be properly looked-over by the courts.

The 2012 election in Arizona was unsatisfactory to pretty much everyone. Not so much because of the results, which of course pleased some and disappointed others. But because of the process ”” last-minute lawsuits, large sums of anonymous campaign expenditures, the slow process of counting votes.

As a result, there are an unusually large number of election-law changes working their way through the Legislature this session. Only two are really important.

SCR1006, championed by Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, would move the deadline for filing initiative petitions up from four months to six months before the general election.

pponents of efforts to recall Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio are criticizing the role of out-of-state resources in the campaign.

The sheriff’s supporters have taken up themes normally associated with Arpaio’s critics, calling on financial transparency by the recall sponsoring group Respect Arizona and decrying outside influences, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

A recall election is still in doubt. Recall supporters have 90 days, until the May 30 deadline, to amass 335,000 valid signatures and force an election, the newspaper said.

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Recently, the Arizona legislature proposed several bills that would impose complications on the process of petitioning the state to refer or initiate laws. On February 19, Citizens in Charge’s Director of Field Operations, Scott Tillman, went before the Arizona Senate’s Elections committee to give testimony in opposition to two bills in particular that would restrict the process the Citizens in Charge works diligently to protect.

Republican legislators voted this week to change the rules on recall elections in a bid to prevent, again, what happened to one of their own. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.

The measure approved by the House Judiciary Committee would require both a primary and a general election when a public official is recalled. That would mean only Republicans get to vote in the first step of a recall of a GOP lawmaker. Whoever survives then would face off against the Democrat in the general. Now, there is a single winner-take-all election.

From KNAU Arizona Public Radio

Legislation to change the process for recall elections passed Arizona’s House Judiciary Committee, 5-2, and now heads to the House floor. House Bill 2282, introduced by Rep. Steve Smith (R), would require a primary election to precede the general election when a recall is triggered by petition.

>The bill comes in response to the successful 2011 recall of Arizona Senate President Russell Pierce, who lost to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis in their heavily Republican Mesa district. The more moderate Lewis likely would have lost to Pearce in a closed GOP primary, where only Republicans could have voted, but Lewis defeated Pearce in a general election in which Democrats were able to vote.

Senate Republicans hope to avoid a repeat of the recall election that ousted Sen. Russell Pearce in November.
The state Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday passed Senate Bill 1449, which would require recall elections to consist of a party-specific primary and then, if necessary, a runoff in which all voters could participate, similar to regular partisan elections.
Currently, recall elections require only a single election in which all candidates and all voters can participate.

Read more at the Tuscon Citizen.