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Voucher Backers Fire First Legal Broadside At Referendum

Backers of Arizona's ambitious school voucher expansion law have launched the first legal challenges to a grassroots signature-collection effort that succeeded in at least temporarily blocking the law.

Lawyers for Americans for Prosperity sent a letter to state Elections Director Eric Spencer on Friday saying that a fatal flaw in the introduction to the petition sheets requires him to disqualify all of the more than 111,000 signatures filed earlier this week.

Separately, a lawsuit seeks to toss out petitions that were allegedly circulated by people who either didn't properly register as paid signature gatherers or are convicted felons and legally disqualified.

The actions come as the Secretary of State's office has begun verifying signatures. About 75,000 must be valid to block the law until voters can weigh in next year.

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