Animal advocates seek legal options on DQ'd petition

KINGMAN - Members of the Repeal Animal Ordinance Committee confirmed that they will meet with an attorney Monday to discuss options to possibly challenge the reasons why some signatures on the group's petition to repeal the revisions to the county's animal ordinances were thrown out.

The committee and several other pet rescue organizations have protested the changes made to the county's Animal Control, Planning and Zoning and Environmental Health ordinances in October.

The organization collected more than 5,455 signatures by Nov. 4 to have the changes to the ordinances put on a ballot for voters to decide. Some signatures were thrown out for various reasons - invalid dates, duplicate signatures, no residential address, not a registered voter - as mandated by state law, Mohave County Elections Director Allen Tempert said Thursday. The organizations needed 4,618 valid signatures in order to be placed on the next ballot.

They came up 163 signatures short.

"We're not going to stop. We're not going to allow the execution of animals because of two supervisors," said Frank Costigan, one of the organizers of Repeal Animal Ordinance Committee.

Notary error

The Mohave County Elections and Recorder's offices threw out several pages of petition signatures due to a notary error, he said. A notary accidentally signed her expiration date for her commission in the wrong spot on several of the forms.

"We believe those people that signed those sheets signed in good faith. They shouldn't be thrown out because a notary signed in the wrong place. I believe this is a constitutional issue," Costigan said.

The group is also looking at the possibility of challenging several other petition signatures that were thrown out because they did not match the signature on file with the Voter Registration Office.

"Signatures don't always look the same," Costigan said. "Those people could have registered 20 years ago. Their signature might not be the same today as it was then.

"This means too much to me. I'm going to use every resource possible to fight this."