CAP-Supported SCR 1015: Initiative; Referendum; Signatures; legislative districts
02/14/23 Passed Senate Third Read (16-13-1)
02/07/23 Passed Senate Rules
02/01/23 Passed Senate Government Committee (5-3)
01/30/23 Senate Second Read
01/26/23 Senate First Read
Introduced Version Here.
Having fair elections is a concern for most Arizonans. Only a small percentage of registered voters across the state are required to approve statewide initiatives (10%), constitutional changes (15%), and referendums (5%). This means sweeping reforms can appear on Arizona ballots with only a small fraction of the state’s support. This is a problem for Arizona.
Activists gather signatures in the state’s largest cities, meaning a measure may only have support in areas of high population like Phoenix, Tucson, or Tempe. Voters outside of large cities have little say. A small percentage of the state can put sweeping reforms on the ballot without input from the rest of the state’s smaller cities and less populated areas. Worse, because of the Voter Protection Act, when these initiatives receive enough signatures to appear on a ballot and then receive enough votes to become law, the legislature cannot repeal them and amending them is nearly impossible.
Because it is such a high burden to amend language passed at the Arizona ballot, it is even more critical that we have proper safeguards to ensure the language is vetted by as many citizens of the state which it seeks to govern. Without ballot initiative reform, Arizona voters are disenfranchised.
The Geographic Distribution Requirement Act is a commonsense reform that would address these issues by requiring a percentage of registered voters from EACH legislative district to express their support for a ballot initiative before it could appear on a ballot.
- Statewide initiatives would require support from 10% of registered voters in EACH district.
- Constitutional changes would require support from 15% registered voters in EACH district.
- Referendums would require support from 5% of registered voters in EACH district.
The Geographic Distribution Requirement Act ensures that a more representative group of voters have a say in what appears on the ballot.
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