Voucher expansion ballot measure prompts questions on voter protection – Arizona Capitol Times – Arizona News

Voucher expansion ballot measure prompts questions on voter protection – Arizona Capitol Times – Arizona News

Stacks of voters’ signatures were delivered to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Aug. 8 after Save Our Schools Arizona collected more than 110,000 signatures in three months. If it survives legal challenges, the referendum will appear on the 2018 general election ballot as Proposition 305. (Photo by Katie Campbell/Arizona Capitol Times)

What is now Proposition 305 will not only put the fate of school voucher expansion into the hands of Arizonans, but is also likely to set precedent on how the Voter Protection Act applies to referenda.

The argument is sure to be made that whatever voters decide in the 2018 general election–approval or rejection–is protected, and any result may be less than ideal for those who want to see the expansion proceed.

Let the speculation begin.

Roopali Desai, an attorney representing expansion opponents Save Our Schools Arizona, said the question of voter protection is really a discussion about the power of the people in relation to the Legislature.

“This conversation is interesting because there is the legal component – what does the Constitution mean and require with respect to referenda – but there is also another question: From a common-sense perspective, how does this come about procedurally?” she said.

A court will ultimately have to settle this debate, but getting to that point is complicated, she said. That comes later.

The Voter Protection Act is currently interpreted in the context of initiatives, Desai said, because those measures are more common relative to referenda, but also because the state Constitution is far more clear with regard to initiatives.

While the Constitution indicates…

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