A referendum launched Wednesday could put Arizona's tough new law targeting illegal immigration on hold until 2012 if organizers can gather the more than 76,000 signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot.
Opponents of the law have until late July or early August to file the signatures — the same time the law is set to go into effect. If they get enough signatures, the law would be delayed until a vote.
But the deadline to put a question on the November ballot is July 1, said Assistant Secretary of State Jim Drake, so it would likely be 2012 before the law went before voters.
"That would be a pretty big advantage" to opponents of the law, said Andrew Chavez, head of a Phoenix-based petition circulating firm and chairman of the One Arizona referendum campaign.
The law, which thrust Arizona into the national spotlight since Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed it last wee
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