House Engrossed Senate Bill





State of Arizona


Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session











amending SECTIONS 19-118, 19-121, 19-121.01 and 19-125, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to INITIATIVE and referendum.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 19-118, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE19-118.  Registered circulators; requirements; violation; classification; definition

A.  All circulators who are not residents of this state and, For statewide ballot initiative and referendum measures only, all circulators who are not RESIDENTS of this state and all paid circulators must register as circulators with the secretary of state before circulating petitions pursuant to this title.  The political committee that is circulating the petition shall collect and submit the registrations completed registration applications to the secretary of state.  The secretary of state shall establish in the instructions and procedures manual issued pursuant to section 16‑452 a procedure for registering circulators, including circulator registration applications, and shall publish on a website maintained by the secretary of state all information regarding circulators that is required pursuant to this section.  The secretary of state shall disqualify all signatures collected by a circulator who fails to register pursuant to this subsection as provided for in section 19‑121.01, subsection A.

B.  The circulator registration application required by subsection A of this section shall include require the following provisions:

1.  The CIRCULATOR'S full name, residence address, telephone number and e‑mail address.

2.  The INITIATIVE or referendum petition on which the circulator will gather signatures.

1.  3.  A statement that the circulator consents to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state in resolving any disputes concerning the circulation of petitions by that circulator.

2.  4.  The circulator shall designate an address of the committee in this state for which the CIRCULATOR is gathering signatures and at which the circulator will accept service of process related to disputes concerning circulation of that circulator's petitions.  Service of process is effected under this section by delivering a copy of the subpoena to that person individually, or by leaving a copy of the subpoena at the address designated by the circulator with a person of suitable age or by mailing a copy of the subpoena to the committee by certified mail to the address provided.

5.  An affidavit from the registered circulator that is signed by the CIRCULATOR BEFORE a NOTARY public and that includes the following declaration:

I,      (print name)     , under penalty of a class 1 misdemeanor, ACKNOWLEDGE that I am eligible to REGISTER as a circulator in the state of Arizona, that all of the information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge and that I have read and UNDERSTAND Arizona election laws applicable to the collection of signatures for a STATEWIDE initiative or REFERENDUM.

C.  WITHIN FIVE business days after submission and review of a complete and correct CIRCULATOR registration application that complies with this section, the SECRETARY of state shall REGISTER and assign a circulator registration number to the CIRCULATOR.

D.  A person may not register as a circulator pursuant to this section if the person:

1.  Has had a civil or CRIMINAL PENALTY imposed for a violation of title 16 or this title within the immediately preceding five years.

2.  Has been convicted of treason or a felony and has not been restored to civil rights as described in section 16-101, subsection A, paragraph 5.

3.  Has been convicted of any criminal OFFENSE involving fraud, forgery or identity theft.

C.  E.  If a registered circulator is properly served with a subpoena to provide evidence in an action regarding circulation of petitions and fails to appear or produce documents as provided for in the subpoena, all signatures collected by that circulator are deemed invalid. The party serving the subpoena may request an order from the court directing the secretary of state to remove any signatures collected by the circulator as provided for in section 19‑121.01, subsection A.

D.  F.  Any person may challenge the lawful registration of circulators in the superior court of the county in which the circulator is registered.  A challenge may not be commenced more than ten business days after the date on which the petitions for which the circulator is required to be registered are filed with the secretary of state that the secretary of state's office has received, processed and made available all final petition sheets individually numbered.  The person challenging signatures may amend that complaint after the secretary of state has removed signatures and signature sheets as prescribed in section 19‑121.01.  An action pursuant to this section shall be advanced on the calendar and decided by the court as soon as possible.  Either party may appeal to the supreme court within five calendar days after entry of judgment.  The prevailing party in an action to challenge the registration of a circulator under this section is entitled to reasonable attorney fees.

E.  G.  The removal or disqualification of any one or more circulators does not invalidate the random sample of signatures made pursuant to section 19‑121.01, and the secretary of state shall not be required to conduct any additional random sampling of signatures.

H.  A person who knowingly omits or misrepresents INFORMATION or provides false information on a CIRCULATOR registration application or WHO registers in violation of this section is GUILTY of a class 1 MISDEMEANOR.

F.  I.  For the purposes of this title, "paid circulator":

1.  Means a natural person who receives monetary or other compensation for obtaining signatures on a statewide initiative or REFERENDUM petition or for circulating statewide initiative or referendum petitions for signatures.

2.  Does not include a paid employee of any political committee organized pursuant to title 16, chapter 6, unless that employee has or will obtain two hundred or more signatures on an initiative, referendum or recall petition in an election cycle. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 19-121, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE19-121.  Signature sheets; petitions; form; procedure for filing

A.  Signature sheets filed shall:

1.  Be in the form prescribed by law.

2.  Have printed in their lower right‑hand corner, on each side of such sheets, the official serial number assigned to the petition by the secretary of state and, if APPLICABLE, the registration number assigned to the CIRCULATOR.

3.  Be attached to a full and correct copy of the title and text of the measure, or amendment to the constitution, proposed or referred by the petition.

4.  Be printed in at least eight‑point type.

5.  Be printed in black ink on white or recycled white pages fourteen inches in width by eight and one‑half inches in length, with a margin of at least one‑half inch at the top and one‑fourth inch at the bottom of each page.  Notwithstanding this subsection paragraph, the secretary of state may prescribe an alternative page width and length in the election instructions and procedures manual adopted pursuant to section 16‑452.

B.  For the purposes of this chapter, a petition is filed when the petition sheets are tendered to the secretary of state, who shall issue a receipt based on an estimate made to the secretary of state of the purported number of sheets and signatures filed.  A receipt may be electronically issued.  After the issuance of the receipt, no additional petition sheets may be accepted for filing.

C.  Petitions may be filed with the secretary of state in numbered sections for convenience in handling.  The secretary of state may prescribe the method of filing, including electronic filing.  Not more than fifteen signatures on one sheet shall be counted.  For petitions filed regarding city, town or county matters, the political committee that is the proponent of the petition and that files the petitions shall organize the signature sheets and group them by circulator and is solely responsible for compliance with this subsection.  The local filing officer may return as unfiled any signature sheets that are not so organized and grouped.

D.  Initiative petitions that have not been filed with the secretary of state as of 5:00 p.m. on the day required by the constitution before the ensuing general election after their issuance shall be null and void, but in no event shall the secretary of state accept an initiative petition that was issued for circulation more than twenty‑four months before the general election at which the measure is to be included on the ballot.

E.  For the purposes of this article and article 4 of this chapter, the measure to be attached to the petition as enacted by the legislative body of an incorporated city, town or county means the adopted ordinance or resolution signed by the mayor or the chairman of the board of supervisors, as appropriate, and signed by the clerk of the municipality or the clerk of the board, as appropriate, or, in the absence of a written ordinance or resolution, that portion of the minutes of the legislative body that is approved by the governing body and filed with the clerk of the governing body and that reflects the action taken by that body when adopting the measure.  In the case of zoning measures, the measure shall also include a legal description of the property and any amendments made to the ordinance by the legislative body. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Section 19-121.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE19-121.01.  Secretary of state; removal of petition and ineligible signatures; sheets copies; random sample; presumption

A.  Within twenty days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and other legal holidays, after the date of filing of an initiative or referendum petition and issuance of the receipt, the secretary of state shall:

1.  Remove the following:

(a)  Those sheets not attached to a copy of the complete title and text of the measure as prescribed in this chapter.

(b)  The copy of the title and text from the remaining petition sheets.

(c)  Those sheets not bearing 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 affidavit of the circulator 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 19‑119.01.

(h)  Those sheets on which the circulator is required to be registered with the secretary of state pursuant to section 19‑118 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 title and text of the measure 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 political committee 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 fifteen signatures permitted per petition.

(e)  Signatures withdrawn pursuant to section 19‑113.

(f)  Signatures for which the secretary of state determines that the petition circulator has printed the elector's first and last names or other information in violation of section 19‑112.

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 for verification as determined pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 6 of this section equals or exceeds the constitutional minimum, during the same twenty day period provided in subsection A of this section, the secretary of state shall select, at random, five percent of the total signatures eligible for verification by the county recorders of the counties in which the persons signing the petition claim to be qualified electors.  The random sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn in such a manner that every signature eligible for verification has an equal chance of being included in the sample.  The random sample produced shall identify each signature selected by petition page and line number.  The signatures selected shall be marked in a clear manner.

C.  If a signature line selected for the random sample is found to be blank or was removed from the verification process pursuant to subsection A of this section then the next line down, even if that requires going to the next petition sheet in sequence, on which an eligible signature appears shall be selected as a substitute if that line has not already been selected for the random sample.  If the next eligible line is already being used in the random sample, the secretary of state shall proceed back up the page from the signature line originally selected for the random sample to the next previous signature line eligible for verification.  If that line is already being used in the random sample, the secretary of state shall continue moving down the page or to the next page from the line originally selected for the random sample and shall select the next eligible signature as its substitute for the random sample.  The secretary of state shall use this process of alternately moving forward and backward until a signature eligible for verification and not already included in the random sample can be selected and substituted.

D.  After the selection of the random sample and the marking of the signatures selected on the petition sheets pursuant to subsection B of this section, the secretary of state shall transmit a copy of the front of each signature sheet on which a signature included in the random sample appears.  The secretary of state shall clearly identify those signatures marked for verification and shall transmit by personal delivery, certified mail, electronic mail e-mail or other electronic transfer method to each county recorder a copy of each signature sheet on which a signature appears of any individual who claims to be a qualified elector of that county and whose signature was selected for verification as part of the random sample.

E.  The secretary of state shall presume that the date noted on the petition for a petitioner's signature is the date on which the petitioner signed the petition, and any person seeking to establish a different date for the signature bears the burden of proof in overcoming the presumption.

F.  The secretary of state shall retain an electronic copy of all signature sheets except as otherwise prescribed in this title.  After the time period for legal challenges has elapsed, the original sheets shall be made available to the applicant but may be disposed of after a reasonable period of time. END_STATUTE

Sec. 4.  Section 19-125, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE19-125.  Form of ballot

A.  The secretary of state, at the time he transmits to the clerks of the boards of supervisors a certified copy of the name of each candidate for public office, shall transmit to each clerk a certified copy of the official title, the descriptive title and the number of each measure and proposed amendment to the constitution to be voted on at the ensuing regular general election.

B.  Proposed constitutional amendments shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number one hundred, proposed initiative measures shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number two hundred, measures submitted under the referendum shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number three hundred, and county and local issues shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the number four hundred.  Numbering shall be consecutive based on the order in which the initiative or referendum petitions are filed with the secretary of state.  Individual numbering shall continue from the last number used in the previous election and shall not be repeated until all one hundred numbers in that series have been used.  Proposed constitutional amendments shall be placed by themselves at the head of the ballot column, followed by initiated and referred measures in that order.  The number assigned to the measure by the secretary of state constitutes the official title of the measure and shall be used for identification of the measure by the state and the county in all subsequent official election materials, including the publicity pamphlet.

C.  The officer in charge of elections shall print the official title and the descriptive title of each measure on the official ballot in the order presented to him by the secretary of state unless otherwise provided by law. The number of the measure shall be in reverse type and at least twelve point type.  A proposed constitutional amendment shall be designated "proposed amendment to the constitution by the legislature", or "proposed amendment to the constitution by the initiative", as the case may be.  A measure referred by the legislature shall be designated "referred to the people by the legislature", a measure referred by petition shall be designated "referendum ordered by petition of the people" and a measure proposed by initiative petition shall be designated "proposed by initiative petition".

D.  There A descriptive title shall be printed on the official ballot immediately below the number of the measure and the official title of each measure.   The descriptive title containing shall contain a summary of the principal provisions of the measure, not to exceed fifty words, which shall be drafted and prepared by the secretary of state and approved accepted, rejected or modified by the attorney general. and that includes The final descriptive title and summary shall include the following or the ballot shall comply with subsection E of this section:

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of ______________________.

A "no" vote shall have the effect of _______________________.

The blank spaces shall be filled with a brief phrase, approved by the attorney general, stating the essential change in the existing law should the measure receive a majority of votes cast in that particular manner.  In the case of a referendum, a "yes" vote shall have the effect of approving the legislative enactment that is being referred.  The "yes" and "no" language shall be posted on the secretary of state's website after being approved by the attorney general and before the date on which the official ballots and the publicity pamphlet are sent to be printed.  Below the statement of effect of a "yes" vote and effect of a "no" vote there shall be printed the corresponding words "yes" and "no" and a place for the voter to put a mark as defined in section 16‑400 indicating his preference.

E.  Instead of printing the official and descriptive titles or the full text of each measure or question on the official ballot, the officer in charge of elections may print phrases on the official ballot that contain all of the following:

1.  The number of the measure in reverse type and at least twelve point type.

2.  The designation of the measure as prescribed by subsection C of this section or as a question, proposition or charter amendment, followed by the words "relating to..." and inserting the subject.

3.  Either the statement prescribed by subsection D of this section that describes the effects of a "yes" vote and a "no" vote or, for other measures, the text of the question or proposition.

4.  The words "yes" and "no" or "for" and "against", as may be appropriate and a place for the voter to put a mark.

F.  For any ballot printed pursuant to subsection E of this section, the instructions on the official ballot shall direct the voter to the full text of the official and descriptive titles and the questions and propositions as printed on the sample ballot and posted in the polling place. END_STATUTE

Sec. 5.  Severability

If a provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the act that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.