Arizona voters can breathe a sigh of relief. On Friday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on our Free Enterprise Club lawsuit that concluded the radical “Free and Fair” election initiative lacked enough lawful signatures to qualify for the ballot. Securing this legal victory was not an easy feat, and the final days of litigation were far more suspenseful than they should have been.
In fact, the trial court came very close to letting the other side steal victory by initially adopting their lawyer’s rigged methodology to calculate the final number of valid signatures that would have snuck the measure back onto the ballot. Their dubious formula cherry picked data that boosted their numbers, even including signatures that were disqualified by the counties. Their formula wasn’t rooted in statute or historical precedent, but it was a Hail-Mary attempt to resuscitate thousands of signatures that simply should not have counted.
Thankfully, after additional review by the courts, their social justice common core math was discarded, and the correct statutory calculation was used to determine that they lacked the minimum number of signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The final decision disqualifying the measure vindicated over two months of intense work and review by our Club staff and legal team at Statecraft. It was a painstaking process that included analyzing 47,000 petition sheets and 420,000 signatures and researching 1,500 different paid circulators to root out every illegal signature. We were also assisted by a fantastic coalition that backed our effort, including our friends at Honest Elections Project Action, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE), Heritage Action for America, Center for Arizona Policy Action, the Goldwater Institute, and America First Works. Our success would not have been possible without their help.
But by far the biggest winner is every Arizona voter who wants an election system where it is easy to vote and hard to cheat. After the radical left failed to pass HR1 in Congress (a plan that would have nationalized our elections), they brought their radical scheme to Arizona, spending over $7.5 million in an attempt to buy their way onto the ballot. Most of the funding for “Free and Fair” came from LUCHA and the liberal funding networks Democracy Alliance and Arabella Advisors.
The initiative would have cemented fraud in our system, with over 60 different provisions imported from Washington, D.C. that would have rolled back voter ID requirements, legalized ballot trafficking, eliminated proof of citizenship requirements, allowed same day registration, brought back ZuckBucks and made it impossible for groups like ours to review and challenge ballot initiatives in the future.
It included everything the Left wanted, which is why they were desperate to get it on the ballot—so desperate in fact that they submitted hundreds of thousands of unlawful and invalid signatures to the Secretary of State, hoping that no one would take the time to check their work. We are very glad that we did.
Now that “Free and Fair” has been stopped, it’s time for us to get back to work on passing other much needed election integrity and initiative reforms on the ballot in November. At the top of the list is Proposition 309, which would require that no matter when you vote, where you vote, or how you vote, ID is required. We also need to pass Propositions 128, 129 and 132. These are critical initiative reforms that will deter future efforts by out-of-state special interests seeking to buy their way onto to the ballot.
So for today, feel free to enjoy the social media temper tantrums and liberal tears being shed by the Left. Starting tomorrow, it will be time to go back on the attack and focus on winning big in November.
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