TUCSON (CN) – City officials in Bisbee, Ariz., must process a citizen’s petition for a referendum election despite an invalid signature, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled.
Bisbee City Council passed a pair of ordinances regulating outdoor storage, litter, junk, abandoned vehicles and dilapidated buildings. Jeffrey Harris sought referendum elections on both ordinances and began to gather petitions.
The city refused to process the petitions, stating that an affidavit was not notarized, and that several of the voters’ addresses were corrected without their knowledge.
The trial court ruled that the signatures on with the unnotarized affidavit were invalid, but the city could not throw out every signature on a page with an invalid signature – just the invalid signatures themselves.
Judge Brammer found that when the invalid signatures were removed, Harris still had more than the required 169 signatures for each referendum.