State Supreme Court Shoots Down Signature Forgery Case

Jun 27, 2014

The state Supreme Court ruled today that a veteran state senator cannot knock his Republican foe off the Aug. 26 primary election ballot. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer reports.


Don Shooter had convinced a Maricopa County Superior Court judge that some of the signatures on petitions collected by candidate Toby Farmer had been forged. And, he argued that should be enough to disqualify Farmer from running. Shooter said the trial judge did agree with him, to a point.

“Two things were proven that are significant. Number one, that forgery took place. Number two, that Toby Farmer saw the forgery happen,” he said.

But, the trial judge ruled — and the Supreme Court has now upheld — that’s not enough to keep Farmer from running. What was missing is any proof that Farmer actually knew the signatures and addresses had been forged even though the names were in alphabetical order. Shooter said he was disappointed in that conclusion.

“The gist of the matter is there is a loophole there that says if you did not commit the forgery, there’s no penalty,” he said.

Farmer did not return calls but instead released a statement saying the rulings show Shooter’s lawsuit was frivolous and baseless. The survivor of the GOP primary faces off in November against Democrat Terri Woodmansee.