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Baja Arizona supporters file petition, expect to circulate

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May 3, 2011

PIMA COUNTY, Arizona: In March, a campaign began to change the country's state count from 50 to 51 with the addition of the proposed Baja Arizona, currently Pima County, Arizona. At that time, the supporting initiative group, Start our State, had not filed any paperwork with Pima County in order to circulate petitions and gather signatures for a possible ballot measure in 2012.

Now, the effort has solidified, as the proposed measure's petition was filed, as of May 2, 2011, and can begin collecting signatures. The group must collect 47,339 valid signatures from registered voters by July 5, 2012 in order to be granted ballot access.[1][2]

Paul Eckerstrom the sponsoring group's co-chairman commented about the efforts: "We're tired of the extremism that's been portrayed to the rest of the country and we feel that we're different down here. We're tired of being last in education funding. We're tired of our tax money disappearing into Maricopa County with very little benefit coming back."

Peter Hormel, one of the organizers of the drive, stated, "Secessionists want to leave the United States of America. During the Civil War—those were secessionists. We view ourselves as good American citizens. What they're doing in Phoenix (in the Legislature), with the states rights moves, the nullification of federal laws—that's secession. We want to remain totally inside the United States (and break away from Arizona)."[3]

Pima County supervisors state that efforts should rather be placed in finding candidates that better represent the area.

In order for Pima County to become Baja Arizona, the 51st state in the U.S., the following steps must take place:[1][2]

  • Start our State must collect required amount of signatures before placing the measure on the ballot
  • Voters must then approve of the measure, thus approving of secession from the state of Arizona
  • The Arizona State Legislature must approve of the secession.
  • The United States Congress and the president must sign off on the movement.

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