TIME Initiative proponents claim signatures are valid - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

TIME Initiative proponents claim signatures are valid

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Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:00 pm

Supporters of the TIME Initiative filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Secretary of State in Maricopa Superior Court on Aug. 13, arguing that the necessary amount of signatures had indeed been collected to get the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Last week, the Secretary of State Jan Brewer disqualified the transportation tax initiative after a preliminary check of the signatures revealed thousands to be ineligible.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Moving Arizona’s Economy Foreword initiative, or Proposition 203, proposes an increase in the state sales tax from 5.6 to 6.6 cents per dollar to fund highway, road, rail and bike projects.

“The TIME Initiative Campaign acted to ensure that the thousands of Arizona voters who have been denied their right to be counted as valid petition signers are properly heard,” said David Martin, co-chair of the TIME Initiative Campaign, in a statement. “We are committed to making sure those voters are counted and to giving Arizonans a choice this fall for improving their quality of life.”

The suit argues that many signatures were incorrectly invalidated because of errors in notary dates, address changes, a post office box was provided instead of a physical address, and petitioners signed with a nickname instead of a legal name — Bill instead of William, for example.

The measure’s backers would need to prove the validity of 95 percent of the sample size for the initiative to move forward, attorney Chris Blanchard said last week.

“If we meet that level, the error rate will be low enough to get it on the ballot,” Blanchard said.

With the lawsuit, TIME backers hope to reinstate nearly 10,000 signatures. For an initiative of this type, 153,365 valid signatures need to be collected. Supporters submitted 258,342 signatures, according to the lawsuit.

A related case involving the wording of the initiative description in voting guides remains under review.

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