19-122. Refusal of secretary of state to file petition or transmit facsimiles of signature sheets or affidavits of circulators; writ of mandamus; venue
A. If the secretary of state refuses to accept and file a petition for the initiative or referendum, or proposal for a constitutional amendment that has been presented within the time prescribed, or if the secretary of state refuses to transmit the facsimiles of a signature sheet or sheets or affidavits of circulators to the county recorders for certification under section 19-121.01, the secretary of state shall provide the person who submitted the petition, proposal, signature sheet or affidavit with a written statement of the reason for the refusal. Within five calendar days after the refusal any citizen may apply to the superior court for a writ of mandamus to compel the secretary of state to file the petition or proposal or transmit the facsimiles, or for matters involving statewide initiatives or referenda or proposed constitutional amendments, the citizen may file a complaint with the county attorney or attorney general. The county attorney or attorney general may apply, within five calendar days after the complaint is made, to the superior court for a writ of mandamus to compel the secretary of state to file the petition or proposal or transmit the facsimiles. The action shall be advanced on the calendar and heard 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 by the superior court. The decision of the superior court may be stayed as prescribed by rules adopted by the supreme court. If the court finds that the petition is legally sufficient, the secretary of state shall then file it, with a certified copy of the judgment attached as of the date on which it was originally offered for filing in the secretary of state's office.
B. The most current version of the general county register statewide voter registration database at the time of filing a court action challenging an initiative or referendum petition shall constitute the official record to be used to determine on a prima facie basis by the challenger that the signer of a petition was not registered to vote at the address given on the date of signing the petition. If the address of the signer given on the date of signing the petition is different from that on the most current version of the general county register, the county recorder shall examine the version of the general county register that was current on the date the signer signed the petition to determine the validity of the signature and to determine whether the person was eligible to sign the petition at the time of signing. This subsection does not preclude introducing into evidence a certified copy of the affidavit of registration of any signer dated before the signing of the petition if the affidavit is in the possession of the county recorder but has not yet been filed in the general county register.
C. An action that contests the validity of an initiative or referendum measure based on the actions of the secretary of state or compliance with this chapter by any person may not be maintained in any court in this state except as prescribed by this section. Any person may contest the validity of an initiative or referendum. If multiple actions are filed that contest the validity of an initiative or referendum, including actions filed pursuant to subsection A of this section, the separate actions shall be consolidated before the appropriate venue pursuant to subsection D of this section. In addition to contesting the validity of an initiative or referendum, any person may seek to enjoin the secretary of state or other officer from certifying or printing the official ballot for the election that will include the proposed initiative or referendum measure and to enjoin the certification or printing of the ballot.
D. The superior court in Maricopa county shall have jurisdiction of actions relating to measures and amendments to be submitted to the electors of the state at large. With respect to actions relating to local and special measures for a county, special district or school district, the superior court in the county in which the district is located shall have jurisdiction. With respect to actions relating to local or special measures for a city or town, the superior court in the county in which the majority of the population of that city or town resides shall have jurisdiction.