It is rank amateurism when an elected incumbent is so careless as to fail to collect enough qualified signatures to qualify for the ballot, and yet it appears that is exactly what “E.Orr” may have done.
According to the Arizona Secretary of State web site, the Legislative Partisan Signature Requirements (.pdf) for nomination in Legislative District 9 for a Republican requires a minimum of 1% or 361 qualified signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The Pima County Democratic Party has sent out a press release asserting that after its review of “E.Orr’s” nomination petitions, he appears to have only 346 qualified signatures – 15 fewer than required by law.
UPDATE: A petition challenge has been filed in the Pima County Superior Court. The qualified elector bringing the petition challenge is Paul Hilts, who is represented by attorney Jeffrey Rogers, former Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party. A copy of the pleadings are Here.
Paragraph 13 of the Verified Statutory Action for Injunction alleges (summarized):
(a) 123 signatures of persons who do not live in LD 9 and are not registered to vote in LD 9;
(b) 83 signatures of persons who are not registered to vote at all in LD 9;
(c) 15 signatures of persons who list an address that is not the address at which they are registered to vote;
(d) 6 signatures of persons who signed petitions twice (duplicates);
(e) 61 signatures are from persons registered with another recognized party and ineligible to sign a Republican partisan nomination petition;
(f) 15 other signature are illegible, incomplete or otherwise invalid.
Here is the PCDP Press Release:
LD-9 Lawmaker continues pattern of disregard for regulations.
TUCSON – State Representative Ethan Orr’s actions continue to demonstrate a level of arrogance, incompetence and disrespect for the law that should cause great concern among voters in Legislative District Nine.
After a review of his nominating petitions the Pima County Democratic Party has discovered that Orr may have failed to obtain the minimum number of signatures required to appear on the 2014 ballot. Of the 634 signatures Orr’s campaign collected, 288 are either those of non-registered voters, voters from other states or voters who reside in other districts. That leaves Mr. Orr with 346 valid signatures- 15 below the threshold to qualify for the ballot.
Couple this revelation with Mr. Orr’s flouting of county and municipal codes by putting up campaign signs nearly a month early and a pattern becomes clear: Mr. Orr simply either does not believe the rules apply to him or he lacks the commitment to do the job correctly.
“Ethan Orr has failed at ‘Democracy 101,’ the most basic level of campaigning,” said Pima County Democratic Party Chair Don Jorgensen. “It’s a shame that someone elected to make laws seems unable to follow the law like everyone else.”
The Pima County Democratic Party thanks the concerned voter that stepped up to call out Orr on his campaign’s sheer laziness and failure to obey campaign laws. Just imagine if a renowned surgeon felt that he was too good for the laws and that regulations governing his profession were just too tedious to follow. The residents of Legislative District Nine deserve better.
Fortunately the voters of LD-9 will have better candidates on the ballot. Not only have Democrats Victoria Steele and Randall Friese rigorously stuck to the rules, they embody the type of southern Arizona constituent-first, hard-work ethic that LD-9 voters value and Arizona needs.