Referendum (‘citizens veto’) of HB 2305, the Voter Suppression Act, certified for the ballot

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Announcement from the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee:

Secretary of State Certifies Protect Your Right to Vote Effort to Overturn HB2305

Committee has nearly 111,000 signatures, 80% validity rate, to put measure on 2014 ballot

PHOENIX – Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett today certified that
the Protect Your Right to Vote Committee’s referendum of House Bill 2305
will be on the 2014 ballot.  
 
Bennett confirmed that the Committee gathered just under 111,000 valid
signatures — far eclipsing the necessary 86,405 to qualify — and that
the Committee’s validity rate was an astounding 80 percent. A broad and
diverse coalition of more than 25 non-profit civic engagement
organizations worked to gather the signatures in just three months after
the Legislature narrowly passed the controversial effort to get tough
on voters in June.
 
 “Today was a big win for Arizona voters and voting rights, but it’s
only part of the battle,” said Julie Erfle, chairwoman of the Protect
Your Right to Vote Committee. “The public response to our effort has
been overwhelming across party lines, and we are absolutely confident
that Arizona voters will toss these unnecessary and self-serving voting
roadblocks in the dumpster where they belong. It’s not right for
politicians to try and game the system by putting up barriers to voters
who might not support them, and by making criminals out of campaign
volunteers. This blatant power grab has now been derailed, and I predict
that House Bill 2305 will be an albatross and a curse for any
politician who supported it.”
 
Erfle added that the majority of the signatures that the Committee gathered came from registered independents and Republicans.

  
BACKGROUND:
 
·         HB2305 would make it a crime for volunteers to collect and
drop off ballots at the polls.  These efforts help elderly, homebound,
disabled and working voters to participate in elections.
·         HB2305 would kick voters off the Permanent Early Voting List
if they fail to vote in two consecutive elections – both primary and
general. This would decrease participation and disproportionally impact
newly registered Latino, young and Independent voters who are not likely
to vote if removed from this list.
·         HB2305 would keep third parties off the ballot by raising
the signature requirement to put a candidate on the ballot for all
political parties except Republicans. Ballot access for third party
candidates will become unlikely, reducing voter choice. For example, the
number of signatures required for Libertarian candidates would increase
by 4,000 percent.
·         HB2305 makes it more difficult for Arizona citizens to
engage in direct democracy or overturn bad laws passed by the
Legislature through citizen initiatives. By instituting a host of minor
technical barriers – including the margin size on petitions – that can
be challenged in court, politicians are trying to take away an important
right that’s been part of Arizona’s constitution since statehood.  
 
Now that the Secretary of State has certified the referendum, HB2305
will be put on hold until voters have their say in November of 2014.
Supporters of the referendum effort will be encouraging Arizona voters
to vote “no.”
 
The Protect Your Right to Vote Committee is a coalition of more than
25 non-profit organizations working together to put HB2305 to a vote of
the people.  These include civic engagement organizations, Latino voter
engagement groups, conservation organizations, animal welfare groups and
labor organizations.  It also includes leaders and members of the
Libertarian, Green and Democratic parties.
 
Member organizations include:
AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Animal Defense League of Arizona, Arizona Advocacy
Network, Arizona Center for Empowerment, Arizona Education Association,
Arizona List, AZ Community Action Association, Central Arizonans for a
Sustainable Economy, Citizens for a Better Arizona, Communications
Workers of Arizona, East Valley Patriots for American Values, Equality
Arizona, Humane Society of the United States, Humane Voters of Arizona,
League of Women Voters, Living United for Change in Arizona, Mi Familia
Vota, NARAL Arizona, National Education Association, One Arizona, PAFCO,
Planned Parenthood, Promise Arizona, SEIU, Sierra Club, and UFCW.

Paid for by Protect Your Right to Vote Committee (Opposing
R-03-2014) with major funding by National Education Association, United
Food and Commercial Workers, America's Families First, Inc., and
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees

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