Open primary foes file lawsuit to keep measure off Arizona ballot - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Open primary foes file lawsuit to keep measure off Arizona ballot

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Posted: Monday, July 16, 2012 9:45 pm

Foes of an open primary system filed suit Monday to knock the measure off the November ballot.

Attorney Michael Liburdi claims the initiative is far more complex than simply setting up a system where all candidates of all parties run against each other in a primary and the top two face off in the general election. He said the measure has "a legion of unintended consequences.''

More to the legal point, Liburdi said the initiative seeks the change via an amendment to the state constitution. But he said the constitution itself requires that amendments be limited to only a single subject to keep voters from being put into a situation where they have to support provisions they do not want to get the ones that they do.

He is asking Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain to block county officials from putting the measure on the ballot. And Liburdi said if it gets to be too late to do that, he wants a court order precluding the votes for or against it from being counted.

The lawsuit was expected, with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a foe of the initiative, raising the legal questions last week.

Campaign spokesman Joe Yuhas said he believes the challenge will fail. And he said that the 365,000 people who signed the petitions are entitled to have the measure decided at the ballot and not be short-circuited by a lawsuit.

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