State Capitol News
6:12 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Suppporters File Suit to Get Open Primary Initiative on Ballot

Earlier this week state election officials said a check of a random sample of the signatures submitted showed the proposal to scrap partisan primaries fell about 10,000 short of the nearly 260,000 necessary. A big reason for this was the conclusion by Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne that a large number in her sample were simply not registered to vote. Others signatures were struck because the information did not match voter rolls. But campaign spokesman Joe Yuhas said a review by his own staff tells a different story.

"We found dozens and dozens of voters in which the county officials indicated were not valid because they were not registered voters," Yuhas said. "Yet when we looked at the county registration database we were able to find those voters."

All told, Yuhas said he thinks 736 signatures should be declared valid. That could be enough. The counties sample just 5 percent of the names submitted. That means each struck name extrapolates out to 20 voters. And putting those 736 names back would add 14,720 to the final tally, putting it over the qualifying line.

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