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Arizona GOP Bill Would Impose New Procedural Requirements For Voter Initiatives

Having already made gathering signatures more difficult, Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are now moving to impose new procedural requirements on voters who want to propose their own laws.

The measure being pushed by Senator Debbie Lesko would allow a court to keep an initiative off the ballot if backers are not in "strict” compliance with all election laws. Currently the standard is “substantial”compliance as required by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Lesko said she believes there is a difference.

"If we have laws and a constitution and the courts determine we don't have to follow those laws or the constitution, then what's the point of having laws or constitutions?" Lesko said.

The wording of HB 2244, set for debate today in a Senate Committee, would disqualify an initiative because of the use of the wrong type size or incorrect margins.

Lesko's move comes less than a week after Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation making it illegal to pay petition circulators on a per-signature basis.