From today’s MarketWatch:
A judge has ruled that an Arizona initiative expanding voting access and rolling back a host of restrictions enacted by the Republican-controlled Arizona legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey will be on the November ballot, barring a successful appeal to the state Supreme Court, which ordered the judge to explain his ruling.
Backers of the Free and Fair Elections measure barely squeaked by after opponents succeeded in disqualifying more than 96,000 signatures. That left the initiative with just 2,281 more than the required 237,645 signatures needed to make the ballot.
The ruling from Maricopa County Superior Court judge Joseph Mikitish came after three weeks of furious court action as backers of the election measure and two other initiatives tried to fend off challenges that the legislature and the Republican governor have made far easier to win.
The Arizona Supreme Court issued rulings in all three measures Wednesday night that kept two of them on the ballot. If approved by the voters, they will require greater transparency for political spending and boost the amount of assets shielded from creditors.
The high court’s ruling in the Free and Fair Elections case mainly rejected opponents’ arguments over qualifying signatures, but several challenges to lower-court rulings on signatures split for the two sides.
The court sent it back to Mikitish to consider those rulings and do the final math to determine if backers have enough signatures. He released that ruling at midday Thursday and ordered Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, to keep the measure on the ballot.
Read the complete story here.