/ Modified jul 19, 2012 5:17 p.m.

Sales-Tax Initiative Can Proceed, Judge Rules

Secretary of State Bennett overruled; petition check will continue

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A Maricopa County judge overturned a state official's decision to keep a proposed sales tax extension off Arizona's November ballot because of a paperwork error.

If Judge Robert Oberbillig's ruling stands, the ruling means the proposed penny-on-the-dollar extension goes on the ballot if petition checks confirm that supporters submitted enough voter signatures.

Ann-Eve Pedersen, the chair of the initiative proposing the continuation of the tax which is set to expire next year, called the ruling a victory.

"It was a very short hearing, it lasted half an hour," Pedersen said. "The judge wanted to know why we were even in court today, because it was very clear to him that we had fully complied with the law."

Assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake says a decision will be made by Friday whether to appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett had said the initiative petitions were invalid because a paper copy of the initiative submitted to his office omitted two paragraphs. They specified how some of the revenue would be spent.

Oberbillig said what matters is that all the copies with petitions for voters to sign had the correct text.

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