Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that a 2017 law violates the first amendment.
The law makes it a crime to pay people for each signature they collect to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot.
This means the first criminal case filed using the law must be dismissed.
The ruling is a major defeat for Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who charged the state’s largest signature gathering firm in 2020 with 50 misdemeanor criminal counts for bonus programs it used while collecting signatures for Proposition 208.
Petition partners faced up to $5 million in fines.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in 2020 that some of the bonus programs the company used ran afoul of the 2017 law, but the high court did not consider its constitutionality, but the appeals court did.