That has resulted in a greatly increased turnout (> 3 times in Scottsdale) with a corresponding increase in sig requirements for the 2010 elections ( to approximately 5800 in Scottsdale).
To put that number into a little perspective, seven of the eight winning candidates in AZ's Congressional races last fall found their ways to the ballot with far fewer sigs than would be required in Scottsdale (the exception was Gabrielle Giffords in CD8, who turned in almost 12,000 sigs).
Well, it turns out that I spoke too soon.
HB2048 has been introduced in the AZ lege to deal with exactly this situation.
If passed into law, it would amend current law (ARS 16-322, A.8) thusly -
, EXCEPT THAT A CITY THAT CHOOSES TO HOLD NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS MAY BY ORDINANCE PROVIDE THAT THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED FOR THE CANDIDATE BE ONE THOUSAND SIGNATURES OR FIVE PER CENT OF THE VOTE IN THE CITY, WHICHEVER IS LESS, BUT NOT MORE THAN TEN PER CENT OF THE VOTE IN THE CITY.
The bill is sponsored by state reps Michelle Reagan (R-LD8), Ed Ableser (D-LD17), and Ray Barnes (R-LD7) and State Senators Carolyn Allen (R-LD8), Meg Burton Cahill (D-LD17) and Jay Tibshraeny (R-LD21) (co-sponsor). It's probably not a coincidence that all of those legislators with the exception of Tibrshraeny represent part of Scottsdale.
And he spent 16 years as a councilmember or mayor in Chandler, so it's a safe bet that he understands the impact of the new sig requirements.
Of course, even if the bill is enacted into law, there's no guarantee that a Jim Lane-led majority on the Scottsdale City Council will pass an ordinance allowed by the revised state statute.
I can't make any predictions about the likelihood of passage through the lege yet, but it may make it through committee - Tibshraeny is the chair of the Senate's Government Institutions Committee, the committee that is likely to hear the bill.
The LD17 Democrats are meeting tomorrow night; I'll try to find a moment to ask Sen. Burton Cahill about the bill's chances.