/ Modified jun 27, 2012 7:16 a.m.

Sales Tax Initiative Fight Going to Court

Education group says it will challenge state's rejection of petitions

Leaders of the campaign to renew Arizona's 1-cent sales tax for education say they will go to court to get the proposed initiative on the November ballot.

That announcement came late Tuesday, after Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett sent a letter to the the Quality Education and Jobs Committee, saying he was rejecting its petitions on a technicality.

The petition sheets that voters signed weren’t attached to a full and correct copy of the initiative that was earlier filed with the state election office, as Bennett said is required by state law.

The committee announced its plan to use legal action to get on the ballot in a press release headlined: "Campaign to opponents: See you in court."

"We are confident that the will of 290,849 voters will prevail in court, and to the dismay of public education enemies, voters will approve the initiative this November," committee leader Ann-Eve Pedersen of Tucson said in the press release.

The figure Pedersen referred to is the number of signatures on the petitions that were turned in Monday, which her organization said was a record for a citizens' initiative in Arizona.

Along with the petitions, the committee said it filed a letter filed with Bennett that "alerted him to the fact that the campaign filed a full and correct copy of the ballot language on a computer disk when it submitted a statement of organization on March 9 to begin circulating petitions."

Language on file at the Secretary of State's Office in hard-copy form omitted several lines that are on the disk. Under state law, the hard copy should be all inclusive, Bennett said.

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