Take two: Arizona's Proposition 112 headed for recount

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November 16, 2010

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By Al Ortiz

PHOENIX, Arizona: Statewide Proposition 112 would change the current petition drive deadline in Arizona to be two months earlier than the current deadline, which is four months prior to the general election. Ironically, the measure that supporters say would allow officials more time to count and verify petition signatures now needs a recount.

The measure had a narrow vote margin following the November 2 election, with 792,697 voting 'yes' and 792,820 voting 'no' as of November 15. According to the Arizona Secretary of State's website, the vote is essentially split, with the site listing the 'no' and 'yes' votes at both 50 percent. Reports are saying that the recount could cost taxpayers between $150,000 to $200,000, according to state elections officials.

Only two other known statewide recounts have been held, one in a 1994 Democratic primary and the other in 1916, when there was a legal challenge for the position of governor. The recount will take place after November 29, and is expected to take up to 10 business days.[1]

Before taking its place in the general election for voters to decide on, the ballot measure was referred to the November ballot by a majority vote of the Arizona House of Representatives and the Arizona State Senate. Arizona is one of ten states that allows a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a majority vote in one session of the state's legislature.

Representative Chad Campbell was a supporter of the measure, and stated that it would allow enough time for lawsuits challenging the measure and other debates to occur before the measure appears on the ballot for voters. According to Campbell, the time frame in place doesn't allow that, "The proposition allows more time for an honest debate about the issues, at no cost to the taxpayer."

Opponents argued that the state has a long history of direct democracy with citizen initiatives, and that the measure would restrict citizen voices given the shorter time frame to collect signatures.

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