ARS 19-112(D) Interpretation

In Western Devcor, Inc. v. City of Scottsdale, 168 Ariz. 426, 429, 814 P.2d 767, 770 (1991) the Arizona Supreme Court addressed a similar issue. There, the circulator of a referendum petition regarding a Scottsdale city zoning decision had used the affidavit provided in 19-112(D), which at that time required the circulator to affirm that "each signer of the petition is a qualified elector of the state of Arizona." 1991 Ariz. Sess. Laws 3d Spec. Sess., ch. 1, 8; see Devcor, 168 Ariz. at 430, 814 P.2d at 771. However, both 19-112(C) and article IV, pt. 1, 1(9) of the Arizona Constitution provided that, when a referendum petition concerns a city measure, the circulator's affidavit must verify his or her belief that "each signer was a qualified elector of . . . the city . . . affected by the measure." Although the circulator had used the sample affidavit provided in 19-112(D), our supreme court determined that the affidavits did not comply strictly with the law. Devcor, 168 Ariz. at 430-31, 814 P.2d at 771-72. The court reasoned that, regardless of the sample language contained in subsection (D), a circulator's affidavit must contain the language explicitly required by subsection (C), because (D) "merely illustrates the proper form of a circulator's affidavit," whereas (C) "dictates the proper contents" of the affidavit. Devcor, 168 Ariz. at 430, 814 P.2d at 771. Although we refer to 19-112(C) and (D) as they are currently designated, at the time Devcor was decided, subsections (C) and (D) were contained in subsections (B) and (C), respectively. In 1991, after Devcor was decided, the legislature amended 19-112, redesignating former subsections (B) and (C) as current subsections (C) and (D), amending subsection (D) to include the language the supreme court in Devcor concluded it had lacked, and adding a new subsection (B). 1991 Ariz. Sess. Laws 3d Spec. Sess., ch. 1, 8.