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BY: Todd Shepherd
A group opposed to a Tom-Steyer led ballot question in Arizona that would significantly increase the state's renewable energy portfolio filed a lawsuit on Thursday claiming most of the signatures submitted on behalf of the push aren’t valid.
Arizonans - Electricity - AFAE - Press - Release
Arizonans for Affordable Electricity (AFAE) said in a press release that petition supporters "did not gather the 225,963 valid signatures required in order to qualify." The group is therefore asking the judge to enjoin the initiative from being placed on the ballot.
Clean Energy for a Health Arizona (CEHA) turned in just over 480,000 signatures earlier in the month. California billionaire and political activist Tom Steyer has underwritten CEHA's efforts. He is best known for his "Need to Impeach" campaign against President Trump, but also has a longer political history of financing energy and environment related efforts at the state level.
CEHA - Question - Ballot - Arizona - Voters
If the CEHA question makes the ballot, it will ask Arizona voters to increase the mandate on the state's renewable energy portfolio from 12 percent in 2020 to 50 percent by 2030.
AFAE claims that after a weeks-long review of the petitions submitted to the secretary of state’s office, "195,339 of these signatures were from individuals not registered to vote in Arizona and, therefore, ineligible to sign the initiative petition," and claimed another 74,227 signatures were included on improperly or non-notarized petitions.
Signatures - AFAE - Signatures - Pass - Muster
Along with several other thousand signatures they believe are invalid, AFAE claims that only about 106,00 signatures turned in pass muster, "a validity rate of approximately 22 percent."
CEHA director Rodd McCleod rejected the charges, linking the lawsuit to Arizona Public Service, the state's largest...
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