The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 56th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2023.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
16-803. Filing petition for recognition; submission of petitions to county recorder for signature verification
A. A petition for recognition of a new political party shall be filed with the secretary of state, the officer in charge of elections of the county or the city or town clerk, as the case may be, not less than two hundred fifty days before the primary election for which the party seeks recognition. A new party that seeks both state and county recognition may file the original petition with the officer in charge of elections for the county and a certified copy of the petition with the secretary of state.
B. Within seven business days after receipt of a petition for statewide recognition, the secretary of state shall:
1. 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 in the upper right-hand corner of the face of the petition.
(b) Remove all signatures of those not in the county of the majority on each sheet by marking an "SS" in red ink in the margin to the right of the signature line.
(c) Cause all signature sheets to be grouped together by county of registration of the majority of those signing.
2. Remove the following signatures that are not eligible for verification by marking an "SS" in red ink in the margin to the right of 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.
3. After the removal of petition sheets and signatures, count the number of signatures for verification on the remaining petition sheets and note that number in the upper right-hand corner of the face of each petition sheet immediately above the county designation.
4. 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 in the upper left-hand corner.
5. Count all remaining petition sheets and signatures not previously removed and issue a receipt to the applicant of this total number eligible for verification.
C. The secretary of state, during the same seven business day period provided in subsection B, shall select, at random, twenty 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 according to the following procedure:
1. Using red ink, mark the selected signature by circling the line number and drawing a line from the base of the circle extending into the left margin.
2. If a signature line selected for the random sample is found to be blank or was removed from the verification process pursuant to subsection B, 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, the secretary of state shall reproduce a facsimile 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 by color highlighting or other similar method and shall transmit by personal delivery or certified mail to each county recorder a facsimile sheet 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. Within ten business days after receiving the facsimile signature sheets from the secretary of state, the county recorder shall determine which signatures of individuals whose names were transmitted shall be disqualified for any of the following reasons:
1. No residence address or description of residence location is provided.
2. No date of signing is provided.
3. The signature is illegible and the signer is otherwise unidentifiable.
4. The address provided is illegible or nonexistent.
5. The individual was not a qualified elector on the date of signing the petition.
6. The individual was a registered voter but was not at least eighteen years of age on the date of signing the petition or affidavit.
7. The signature was disqualified after comparison with the signature on the affidavit of registration.
8. If a petitioner signed more than once, all but one otherwise valid signature shall be disqualified.
9. For the same reasons any signatures could have been removed by the secretary of state pursuant to this section.
F. Within the same time period provided in subsection E, the county recorder shall certify to the secretary of state the following:
1. The name of any individual whose signature was included in the random sample and disqualified by the county recorder together with the petition page and line number of the disqualified signature.
2. The total number of signatures selected for the random sample and transmitted to the county recorder for verification and the total number of random sample signatures disqualified.
G. At the time of the certification, the county recorder shall:
1. Return the facsimile signature sheets to the secretary of state.
2. Send notice of the results of the certification by mail to the person or organization that submitted the petitions and to the secretary of state.
H. Within seventy-two hours after receipt of the facsimile signature sheets and the certification of each county recorder, the secretary of state shall determine the total number of valid signatures by subtracting from the total number of eligible signatures in the following order:
1. All signatures that were found ineligible by the county recorders.
2. After determining the percentage of all signatures found to be invalid in the random sample, a like percentage from those signatures remaining after the subtractions performed pursuant to paragraph 1 of this subsection.
I. If the number of valid signatures as projected from the random sample pursuant to subsection H is at least one hundred per cent of the minimum number required by this section, the party shall be recognized. If the number of valid signatures as projected from the random sample is less than one hundred per cent of the minimum number, the party shall not be recognized.