The AZ version of HR1, the ‘Free & Fair Elections’ initiative has failed to make the ballot after a flurry of activity in AZ Superior and State Supreme Court.
Election Integrity advocates, citizens of Arizona and court watchers on both sides were hanging by the edge of their seat as a series of rulings over the past 48 hours played out.
On Wednesday, the State Supreme court upheld several challenges and rejected others made by both supporting and opposing sides to the initiative.
At issue were both the number of signatures that qualified and the overall validation rate.
After the State Supreme Court ruling Wednesday evening, opponents to the measure were jubilant as it appeared that the measure would fall beneath the minimum required signatures to be certified to the ballot. The Supreme Court remanded back to the Superior Court for resolution.
In an apparent reversal of fortune, the Superior Court judge allowed the proponents of the measure to offer a calculation for the validity rate that fell outside A.R.S. 19-121.04 which lays out the order and method for calculating the threshold for certification to the ballot.
Yet all was not lost as the AZ Free Enterprise team and their attorney would not give up. An emergency appeal was filed with the State Supreme Court last night and the Court ordered the lower court judge to provide the specific source and breakdown of his numerical findings (show your work).
Mussi v Hobbs Supreme Court CV 22 0207 AP EL
Further the Supreme Court ordered the Superior Court to issue a ruling by 11AM this morning and made provisions for supplemental briefings to the Supreme Court by 1:00PM today as needed.
The Superior Court has now ruled that the initiative has failed. When the proper formula and calculations were made, the initiative failed to meet certification by 1500 signatures.
LESSON: Never give up. This initiative was well-funded ($7M at last count) and it was not so much a hill as a mountain to climb to challenge this filing. A small group of determined advocates were able to win by 1500 signatures on an initiative that collected over 400,000. Well done AZ Free Enterprise! A great day for Election Integrity in Arizona!