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Arizona Senate debates revamping recall elections

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Senate is poised to advance legislation that would add a primary to all voter-initiated recall elections.

The Senate is scheduled to debate House Bill 2282 on Tuesday. The Arizona House passed the measure in a 36-23 vote in March.

Majority Republicans argue the legislation is needed to prevent the ouster of elected officials who are targeted only because of their party affiliation. Democrats say it would protect incumbents.

The bill would take effect retroactively in January 2013. 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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