Thursday, December 3, 2015

URGENT DEADLINE: Public service announcement about publishing opinions on the education deal (Prop 123)

I don't usually reprint articles in full but this one deserves special attention given the impending deadline - like tomorrow!!!

The essence is that you can voice your opinion about Prop 123 and get it printed in the booklet that accompanies ballot measures. But you have to act fast and learn the rules. Following is the full article from Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services printed in this morning's Daily Star.

PHOENIX — Got an opinion on the plan to tap the state land-trust account to boost funding for schools?

Want to tell more than just your friends?

Well, for $75 you can spread the word.

That’s all it takes to put a 300-word argument into a pamphlet to be mailed to all 3.3 million registered Arizona voters ahead of the May 17 election. You can even make your point with boldface and italics.

But you’ve got to act fast: The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.

It’s all part of long-standing state law that allows individuals, organizations and political committees to make their own pitch to voters. The Secretary of State’s Office then mails these out, one to each household with at least one registered voter.

Matt Roberts, spokesman for the agency, said his office prefers that arguments be submitted to elections.azsos.gov through email.

Ideally, he said, the text should be put into the body of the message. That ensures there are no compatibility problems reading it and that the arguments are formatted as requested.

But an email is just the first step. Roberts said his office needs a hard copy of the argument as well as payment, both of which must be postmarked by that 5 p.m. Friday deadline.

Cash is acceptable as are credit cards, though those payments have to be made in person.

Roberts said what people want to say about Proposition 123 is totally up to them. And no one will judge if it’s relevant.

"We won’t be editing anything for content," he said. "So, in theory, if someone just wanted to list off their Christmas list, they could potentially do so."

Nor will state employees correct grammar or spelling errors.

The hard-copy submissions must be signed, and all arguments must include the name, address and phone number of those signing, though only the name and city will appear in the pamphlet.

For political committees, the only acceptable signers are chairman or treasurer. And ballot arguments submitted by other organizations or corporations must contain the signatures of at least two executive officers.

The ballot measure would provide $3 billion to schools over the next decade, much of it from trust-land proceeds, to settle a lawsuit charging that lawmakers illegally ignored a 2000 ballot measure requiring state aid be increased every year to account for inflation.

Regardless of how you feel about the Prop 123 this is an opportunity to make your voice heard. Take it.

Scriber has just one other thing to say: Ducey's Choice.

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