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AZ Recalls Russell Pearce, SB 1070 Sponsor

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on July 12, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Maricopa County election officials have certified that Citizens for a Better Arizona has collected over 10,300 signatures, nearly 3,000 more than necessary, in its Russell Pearce recall effort.

The group opposes the Arizona Senate President, who represents the area around Mesa, on the grounds that he supports guns in state parks and sponsored and fully supported the state's controversial anti-immigration bill, SB 1070.

What's going to happen next?

Recall efforts, or attempts to vote out an elected official, vary from state to state. Some permit citizens to recall only local officials, while others require proof of misconduct. However, they all follow a similar pattern.

The first step in recalling a politician is to collect a designated number of signatures from his constituents. This number is dictated by law, and oftentimes is a percentage of the local population.

After the required number of signatures is collected, election officials must certify that each person is a registered voter in the designated jurisdiction, and that the recall petition meets all requirements.

While a vote can then be scheduled, if a candidate disagrees with a signature's assessment, or the basis for the petition, he may challenge the recall's certification in court, delaying a vote.

As of this writing, the immediate future of Russell Pearce recall effort is in the hands of the candidate himself. Under state law, he has a designated period in which to decide whether to challenge any signatures and the petition, or to simply face a recall this November.

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