Arizona adds online system to submit 2016 ballot measure arguments

In advance of the July 7, 2016, filing deadline for initiative and referendum petitions, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has announced statements of support or opposition to this year’s ballot measures can now be submitted online.  By statute, the deadline to submit an argument is no later than 48 days preceding the primary election, according to a press release.

Pro/con arguments will be printed in the publicity pamphlet in the order in which they are electronically received; however the secretary cautioned some ballot measures may not appear on the ballot due to insufficient number of valid signatures or court orders.  The Elections Division will only publish arguments in the pamphlet if the selected measure qualifies for the General Election ballot, and will be unable to provide a full or partial refund, according to the release.

“I would urge people who plan to file an argument to familiarize themselves with our unique filing system,” said Secretary Reagan in the release.  “The cut-off date to file an argument is July 13, only one week after the filing deadline, so those who are interested must act quickly.”

The argument must be 300 words or less and should be written exactly how the filer wants it to appear in the publicity pamphlet, as it will be reproduced verbatim.  Due to statutory requirements, the Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix must also receive a signed, notarized copy of the argument by 5 p.m. on July 13. The $75 fee will collected through the online portal at the time its submission.

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