Before an issue is allowed to be on a ballot, a certain amount of signatures are usually required. The number of signatures needed can vary from a handful to hundreds depending on the proposed issue. These signatures are generally collected by circulators — individuals who proactively go out to collect signatures.
However, a controversial question has arisen due to the increase in circulators — can these individuals be paid for the work they’re doing?
In short, it depends.
Arizona is one of several states that has strict rules when it comes to pay-per-signature for ballot petitions. In March 2017, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that banned circulators from getting paid per signature. The hope was that the legislation would cut back on potential fraud and discourage circulators who were only working to receive money rather than those who were passionate about the potential ballot issue.
Anyone who violates this law typically faces a misdemeanor charge, as seen when the state’s attorney general indicted a company that was hired to gather signatures for Proposition 208 (a measure regarding taxes that would increase the funding for public education).
Those in Arizona who still choose to be a circulator despite not getting paid must still follow guidelines outlined by state officials. In particular, circulators must register with the Secretary of State’s office. The state’s client portal requires circulators to obtain a state identification and account online ensuring that the circulator has the same identification number for future election cycles. There is also a training guide that circulators are required to review before asking for signatures.
Can Measures Get on the Ballot With Illegal Signatures?
No! This is a true statement in any state, whether they allow paid circulators or not.
If you suspect a candidate nomination or issue has been submitted for voter consideration illegally, the team at Barton Mendez Soto PLLC is here to help. We hold voters’ rights to the utmost importance and will do everything in our power to ensure that elections are fair for all. Contact our dedicated election lawyers today for more information.