Arizona Bill Would Place New Restrictions On Citizen Initiatives And Circulators

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 12:12pm
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 4:13pm
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Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill forward at the Arizona Capitol that would place new restrictions on citizen initiatives and the people hired to gather signatures to get them on the ballot.

Senate Bill 1451 would create new requirements for paid circulators and the organizations that hire them to collect signatures. That means — if it passes — a circulator who registers unlawfully or knowingly omits information on their application could be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.

It also creates several new requirements, like mandating that, when petitions are turned in, they are grouped by circulator.

Those who are for this bill said it’s about preventing people who are felons — specifically, people with convictions related to identity theft — from gathering signatures.

Those on a long list of organizations and people who registered to speak against it said this is about making it harder to get initiatives on the ballot.

Joel Edman, executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network, joined The Show to discuss his concerns.

Proponents, however, argue this bill is necessary to crack down on fraud and abuse in the initiative process.

Scot Mussi, the executive director of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, is in support of the bill, and joined The Show to talk about it.

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