The Tuesday Count: Arizona election law referendum on 2014 ballot

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November 17, 2013

Edited by Brittany Clingen

1 certification
48 measures for 2014

Elections (News)
Abortion (Spotlight)

Colorado 2013 ballot measures
Another ballot measure has been certified for the 2014 ballot in Arizona, bringing the number of certified measures in the state to two and the overall count for 2014 ballots to 47. The measure is a veto referendum on the election law that was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on June 19, 2013.[1] The law would require all candidates running for office to obtain the same number of signatures in order to get their names on the ballot, render the act of picking up another person's early ballot illegal, and set stricter qualifications for those wanting to circulate initiative, referendum and recall petitions. The referendum is being sponsored by a collection of groups referring to themselves as Protect your Right to Vote Committee.[2] Opponents of the referendum will likely bring legal challenges against the effort. Barrett Marson, a spokesman for two groups opposed to the referendum effort, said, "This is early in the process. There are thousands and thousands of questionable signatures that were collected by questionable circulators - people who don't have residency here as required by state law and who didn't fill out paperwork as required by the Secretary of State's office or are felons and collected signatures."[3]
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Supporters of the referendum are confident that their measure will pass any legal muster thrown its way. Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the "Protect Your Right To Vote Committee," said, "What the certification tells us is today is a big win for Arizona voters and for voting rights. But it's only part of the battle. We're prepared to fend off any legal challenges that may arise, and we expect to be on the ballot on November 4 (2014). And when that happens we're also confident that Arizona voters are going to toss these absolutely unnecessary changes in the dumpster where they belong."[3]

2014 Count
Number: 48 measures
States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming

House Bill 2305, the bill which the referendum is attempting to repeal, is politically charged on both sides. Passed by a primarily Republican legislature, Democrats feel that this is the right's attempt to disenfranchise minorities and make voting more difficult for them. Republicans, on the other hand, say the bill is required to quell voter fraud and make the process of voting more efficient. Though HB 2305 was signed into law, the provisions contained in the bill are currently on hold, pending the outcome of the referendum.[4]

Local Spotlight

Today's Albuquerque election features record breaking early voter turnout and heavy campaign spending for historic late term abortion ban measure:

A protester outside of the SWO clinic

Even though today is the official election day for the Late Term Abortion Ban Initiative in Albuquerque, as of November 11, over 25,000 Albuquerque electors had already cast their votes regarding the measure that has gained national attention. This is a record number of voters in the history of early voting in Albuquerque. It is more than twice the number of electors that voted early in the gubernatorial election on October 8. According to City Clerk Amy Bailey, “This election is incomparable to anything we’ve ever seen in the city early voting-wise."[5]

If this measure is approved by voters, it would make Albuquerque the first city to ban abortions after 20 weeks and would shut down the Southwestern Women's Options clinic, which is one of the few clinics in the nation that offers late term abortions during or after the sixth month of pregnancy. While many states have passed similar legislation, this is the first attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks on the municipal level, making it a historic day for the abortion issue.[6] Partly because of its presence in national news this measure has motivated a large amount of spending as well as the huge early voter turnout. As of November 15, campaign finance reports showed the campaign in opposition to the abortion ban with a war chest of a little over $700,000, while the initiative supporters had collected $176,912. Moreover, donors on both sides of the issue are not restricted to local groups. Main contributors to the "No" campaign include Planned Parenthood organizations from several states, which donated a total of $344,655, and the New Mexico ACLU, which donated $245,000. The "Yes" campaign has seen its largest donations from the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization, and from residents of Albuquerque.[7]

Activists in the group "Project Defending Life" turned in nearly 27,000 signatures, more than twice the 12,091 required, to qualify the initiative, known by supporters as the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance" initiative, for the ballot.[8]

Follow Ballotpedia's detailed coverage of this local measure to see election results as they are reported.

See also

2014 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2014 Scorecard