19-208.01. Removal of petition sheets and ineligible signatures; certification of number of signatures

A. Within ten days after submission of a recall petition for verification of signatures pursuant to section 19-203, the filing officer shall:

1. Remove the following:

(a) Those sheets that are not stapled to a copy of the time-and-date-marked copy of the application as prescribed in this chapter.

(b) The copy of the application from the remaining petition sheets.

(c) Those sheets that do not bear the correct petition serial number and, if applicable, the paid circulator registration number in the lower right-hand corner of each side.

(d) Those sheets containing a circulator's affidavit that is not completed or signed or that has been modified.

(e) Those sheets on which the circulator's affidavit is not notarized, the notary's signature is missing, the notary's commission has expired or the notary's seal is not affixed.

(f) Those sheets on which the signatures of the circulator or the notary are dated earlier than the dates on which the electors signed the face of the petition sheet.

(g) Those sheets that are circulated by a circulator who is prohibited from participating in any election, initiative, referendum or recall campaign pursuant to section 19-206.01.

(h) Those sheets on which the circulator is required to be registered with the secretary of state pursuant to section 19-205.01 and the circulator is not properly registered at the time the petitions were circulated.

2. After completing the steps in paragraph 1 of this subsection, review each sheet to determine the county of the majority of the signers and shall:

(a) Place a three or four letter abbreviation designating that county on the face of the petition.

(b) Remove all signatures of those not in the county of the majority on each sheet by placing an adjacent mark or striking through the signature line.

(c) Cause all signature sheets to be grouped together by county of registration of the majority of those signing. The detached copies of the application shall be made available to the applicant but may be disposed of after a reasonable period of time.

3. After completing the steps in paragraph 2 of this subsection, remove the following signatures that are not eligible for verification by placing an adjacent mark or striking through the signature line:

(a) If the signature of the qualified elector is missing.

(b) If the residence address or the description of residence location is missing.

(c) If the date on which the petitioner signed is missing, if the date on which the petitioner signed the petition is before the date that the serial number was assigned to the person or organization that is filing the petition or if the date on which the petitioner signed the petition is after the date on which the affidavit was completed by the circulator and notarized.

(d) Signatures in excess of the ten signatures allowed per petition.

(e) Signatures withdrawn pursuant to section 19-205.04.

(f) Signatures for which the filing officer determines that the petition circulator has printed the elector's first and last names or other information in violation of section 19-205.

4. After the removal of petition sheets and signatures, count the number of signatures for verification on the remaining petition sheets and note that number on the face of each petition sheet.

5. Number the remaining petition sheets that were not previously removed and that contain signatures eligible for verification in consecutive order on the front side of each petition sheet.

6. Count all remaining petition sheets and signatures not previously removed and notify the applicant of this total number eligible for verification.

B. If the total number of signatures eligible for verification equals or exceeds the minimum number required by the Constitution of Arizona the filing officer shall reproduce a facsimile of the front and back of each signature sheet on which any signature eligible for verification appears. The filing officer shall transmit promptly to each county recorder facsimile sheets on which a signature of any individual claiming to be a qualified elector of that county appears.  The filing officer shall also certify the number of sheets and signatures on the sheets that are being transmitted and retain a record of that certification in the filing office. The filing officer shall obtain a dated, signed receipt from the county recorder for copies of the original signature sheets transmitted under this section.

C. If the number of signatures on the sheets submitted to the filing officer does not equal the minimum number required by the constitution, the filing officer shall so notify the person or organization submitting them and shall return the sheets to the persons or organization. The returned signature sheets may not be reused or resubmitted at any later date.