Update on the Referendum (‘citizens veto’) of HB 2305, Voter Suppression Act


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Earlier this week, the Secretary of State's Office completed its review of the petitions for the referendum ("citizens veto") of HB 2305, the Voter Suppression Act. The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reported, Secretary of State knocks 2,300 signatures from HB2305 referendum effort:

2305hb11The coalition fighting the election law approved by the Legislature this year filed 139,161 signatures that passed the first round of verification from the Secretary of State’s Office.

The office tossed 237 petition sheets
containing more than 2,300 signatures for technical reasons. An
unreported number of individual signatures were also thrown out for
technical reasons, said Matt Roberts, a spokesman for Secretary of State
Ken Bennett.

* * *

The remaining signatures must have an
overall validity rate of roughly 62 percent in order to force a
referendum against the law. Referendum backers like Robbie Sherwood,
spokesman for the Protect Your Right to Vote Campaign, are confident enough of the signatures will be validated to make it happen.

“To lose less than 5 percent (on the first review) we thought was
very good, and we were very happy with that. Certainly it’s not over,
and we’re not counting our chickens before they hatch, but we’re
confident we’ll have the signatures,” he said.

The Secretary of State’s Office announced Monday that it is sending a
random 5 percent sample of the 139,161 signatures to each of the
state’s 15 county recorders, who will check the validity of signatures
from their counties.

Within 15 days of receiving the 5 percent
sample, each county must calculate the percentage of valid signatures
from registered voters in the county and return the petition sheets,
along with the total validity rate, back to the Secretary of State’s

The secretary of state then has 72 hours, not including weekends and
holidays, to calculate the total validity rate and number of valid

* * *

The final determination of whether the
referendum effort against the law has enough signatures to force the
question on the November 2014 ballot will be made by the end of October
or early November, depending on when the counties actually receive the
signatures to validate.

The Capitol Times sister publication, The Yellow Sheet Report, reported the H2305 challenge has 53K signature buffer.

On its face, this seems a relatively safe cushion for this referendum to survive the certain legal challenge to be filed by the usual suspects in the Arizona GOP who favor voter suppression.

Among them is one of the authors of HB 2305, Rep. Michele Reagan, who filed the purposefully misleadingly named Protect Our Secret Ballot Committee (HB 2305 has nothing at all to do with secret ballots).

And, of course, the lobbyist Jonathan "Payday" Paton, who is using a former staffer from his failed 2012 congressional campaign, Robert Mayer,
and Arizona GOP counsel Lee Miller, to file the purposefully misleadingly named Stop Voter Fraud Committee.

Secretary of State Ken "Birther" Bennett testified to a
U.S. Senate panel in December last year that Arizona prosecuted a
whopping fifteen cases of voter fraud in the last eighteen months.
And none of these were cases of non-citizens voting, but rather
"snowbirds" who voted in Arizona and in another state. 2.3 million
ballots were cast in the 2012 election in Arizona. Ken Bennett's passion for voter fraud turns up fifteen cases.

Jonathan "Payday" Paton has been trying for years to kill Arizona's Citizens Clean Elections Commission, and has twice failed to dictate to the City of Tucson how it must conduct its local city elections.

News reports earlier this year indicated that GOP voter suppression specialist Nathan Sproul, a Republican
political strategist who runs Lincoln Strategy Group, is involved with Paton's Stop Voter Fraud Committee. Sproul has been at the epicenter of controversies over the past decade involving allegations of voter registration fraud.

Amazing how all of these Tea-Publicans who are supposedly concerned about the right to vote are not the least bit concerned about voter registration fraud by Nathan Sproul and his minions.

The Arizona GOP can start by cleaning out its own house of political corruption and voter suppression. Paton, Sproul and Sean Noble, the 'Wizard' Behind Koch Brothers' Donor Network, would be a good place to start.


  1. You have to watch Bennett like a hawk or he will find any reason to throw this out or use his allies in the counties to do it.

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