Del. Bob Brink, D-Arlington, introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at improving the voter referendum process.

The legislation responds to a 2010 petition drive in Arlington intended to change the structure of the county government. The campaign would have removed power from the county manager and changed the way county board and school board members were elected.

While it first appeared the campaign garnered the necessary signatures, many signatures were later thrown out when the description of the person signing the forms did not match the description of individuals actually gathering the signatures.

Officials also learned that one of the leaders of the campaign was a notary public who notarized the petitions.

“Last year’s referendum effort in Arlington taught us valuable lessons about weaknesses in the petition signature gathering process,” Brink said in a statement. “Learning from that experience and passing this corrective legislation will help protect the integrity of voter referenda.”

The bills would ensure proper identification of the petition circulator and tightens conflict of interest provisions for notaries.