Petition signatures to extend one-cent sales tax rejected

ARIZONA - The Arizona Secretary of State's Office has rejected the petition signatures of a group seeking to extend the one-cent sales tax to help fund education.

According to the Quality Education and Jobs Initiative committee, it collected and turned in more than 290,000 signatures to place its issue on the November ballot.

If approved by voters, the initiative would have extended the one-cent sales tax put in place by voters two years ago and used the funds to help support education, public safety and health care for underprivileged children.

Opposition groups challenged the committee's petitions saying that it omitted more than 150 words from its ballot language application.

Committee Chairwoman Ann-Eve Pedersen said the words were only omitted from a courtesy paper copy given to the Secretary of State's Office.

A computer disk containing the full ballot and petition language was submitted to the department at the same time. Each petition also had a copy of the full language attached to it.

The committee plans to challenge Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett's decision to reject the signatures in court.