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Volunteers deliver boxes Wednesday containing petitions with more than 146,000 signatures designed to force a public vote on a legislatively approved plan to alter various election laws. (Capitol Media Services photo by Howard Fischer)

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Petition drive seeks to block 'bad' election laws

PHOENIX -- Voters apparently are going to get the last word on controversial changes in state election laws pushed through by Republicans at the end of last session.Backers of a referendum drive turned in 146,028 signatures on petitions to block the changes from being implemented as scheduled on Friday. If the Secretary of State determines there are at least 86,405 valid signatures -- and a likely legal challenge falters -- the law will remain on hold until voters can ratify or reject it at the 2014 election.