GOP-Backed Proposal Would Tighten Voter Initiative Methods

Feb 3, 2017

Credit Charlie Leight/The Republic

Legislation backed by a Republican state lawmaker would tighten requirements for paid workers when they're collecting voter signatures to qualify an initiative or referendum for the ballot.

House Bill 2404 by Rep. Vince Leach of Tucson would make it more difficult for backers of voter initiatives to get them on the ballot. It comes after backers of three initiatives opposed by Republicans and the business community collected enough signatures to get them on the November 2016 ballot.

All three were challenged in court, and one was eventually withdrawn. But a marijuana legalization initiative and one raising the minimum wage went before voters. Only the minimum wage passed.

Leach said Thursday he's trying to protect the voters. A lawyer who defended the minimum wage suit says it's attacking voter rights.