County Residency Requirement for Petition Circulator

In 1991, the legislature added the definition of "resident" to A.R.S. section 16-101(B), requiring actual physical presence in a local subdivision combined with an intent to remain, to apply to a "qualified elector" as defined in A.R.S. section 16-101(A). See 1991 Ariz. Sess. Laws Ch. 1, 2 (40th Legis., 3d Spec. Sess.)(amending A.R.S. 16-101(B)). That same legislative enactment made extensive changes to various sections in both Titles 16 and 19 regarding initiative, referendum, and recall elections. See id., S.B. 1001. The legislature did not, however, change the requirement in section 19-114(A) that a petition circulator must be a "qualified elector." See id. at Ch. 9. Reading these statutes together, one could logically conclude that a petition circulator, required to be a "qualified elector" pursuant to A.R.S. section 19-114(A), defined as "a person qualified to register to vote" pursuant to A.R.S. section 16-121(A), was also required to be a "resident" of the political subdivision pursuant to A.R.S. section 16-101(B). We are thus faced with two possible constructions of this statutory scheme: the literal language of the statutes supporting one interpretation but the doctrine of harmonious construction supporting another. We must, however, interpret a statute in a way that renders it constitutional; if there are any uncertainties, we must resolve them in favor of constitutionality. State v. Gilfillan, 196 Ariz. 396, 405, 998 P.2d 1069, 1074 (App. 2000). We therefore are squarely faced with one of the constitutional questions raised in this case: whether a statutory local residence requirement for circulators would be constitutional after Buckley.