Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bill to Allow P.O. Box Use on Petition Signatures Forms Passes House Committee

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, a bill sponsored by Sen. Albert Hale that allows a post office box address to be used on petition signature forms passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support by a vote of 7-0.

“With the passage of SB 1422, we move closer to changing the Arizona election law and use of post office boxes on Arizona state election nomination petitions,” said Hale. “The bill is intended to allow the use of a post office box address when voters sign nominating petitions circulated by candidates for state election offices.”

The bill contains provisions that will require the voter signing the petition to verify that their physical address remains the same since last registered. This is to safeguard against possible fraud.

“Under current law, use of a post office box address is presumed valid,” said Hale. “However, the presumption goes away when challenged in court.”

Under current law, some county recorders do not count a signature when the address only shows a post office box. The bill will require county recorders to check signatures that have only a post office box and verify that the person signing is actually registered.

“The purpose is to make sure that voters are not disenfranchised,” said Hale. “Especially voters in rural areas and on Indian reservations where there are not street addresses.”

The bill now awaits a hearing in the House Rules Committee.

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