For $75 you can make a ballot argument mailed to Arizona voters
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX -- Got an opinion on voting procedures and ID requirements in Arizona?
In-state tuition for "dreamers''?
Or even whether Arizona needs a lieutenant governor?
Want to tell -- and try to influence -- more than just your immediate circle of friends and coworkers?
Well, you can. For $75.
That's all it takes to put a 300-word argument into a pamphlet that's going to be mailed to the homes of all nearly 4.3 million registered voters ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.
But you've got to act fast: The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
It's all part of a long-standing state law that allows individuals, organizations and political committees to make their own pitch to voters about ballot issues. The Secretary of State's Office then mails these out, one to each head of household with at least one registered voters.
Arguments have to be submitted electronically. In fact, the agency has set up a web site at: "https://ballotarguments.az.gov''.
It's pretty much self-explanatory.
First, pick out which of the 11 measures set to be on the ballot that you'd like to share your thoughts. Then it's a simple matter of deciding whether you're "for'' or "against'' the measure.
For all the rest, it's pretty much straight forward. Just type in what you want to say -- up to 300 words -- fill out the rest of the form and then, when prompted, make your $75 payment online with a credit card.
The web site has a drop-down menu to let you select the measure on which you want to opine.
What you do with those 300 words is pretty much up to you.
The office doesn't edit for content, though it might seek legal advice before printing an argument with some four-letter words not generally used in polite conversation.
But pretty much anything else is in bounds, whether it actually relates to the ballot measure or not.
There are restraints.
The web site won't accept efforts to use bold or italics to make a point, though people are free to capitalize for emphasis.
Also, only online submissions will be accepted. Forget about typing or printing up something at home and showing up at the Secretary of State's Office, paper in hand.
One other thing: While the deadline for submitting arguments is Wednesday night, court challenges or signature counts could result in one or more of the three voter-proposed measures not making the ballot. But there are no refunds if a measure is removed.
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