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Updated Mar 8, 2013 - 6:56 am

House passes recall primary elections

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House of Representatives has passed a bill on a party-line vote adding a primary election to all voter-initiated recall elections.

Majority Republicans pushing the bill argued it was needed to prevent the ouster of elected officials who are targeted only because of their party affiliation. Democrats say it's designed to protect incumbents.

A last-minute addition to the bill that passed on a 36-23 vote Thursday makes it apply retroactively. That's designed to make the bill apply to an ongoing effort by opponents of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to force a recall election.

Republicans have been pushing for changes to the Arizona Constitution's provision on recalls since former Senate President Russell Pearce became the first Arizona legislator recalled in 2011.

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