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Web site taking picks for design of quarter

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

PHOENIX – Should Arizona’s state quarter show the Grand Canyon? A saguaro cactus? A combination of those two themes? Or Navajo code talkers during World War II?

With release of Arizona’s state quarter a year away, Gov. Janet Napolitano says Arizonans have the chance to help pick the final design.

Under an online voting page planned to be posted on the governor’s Web site at midday today, Arizonans will be able to rank each of the five designs on a 1-5 scale, with one being the favorite, Napolitano’s office said.

However, the governor is retaining the final say on the state’s recommended design to the U.S. Treasury Department.

“This is a fun opportunity for Arizonans to be involved,” Napolitano spokeswoman Shilo Mitchell said. “It is ultimately the governor’s decision, but she will take the suggestions of Arizonans seriously.”

Arizona’s recommendation is due May 1, and the quarter will be issued in May 2008, Napolitano’s office said.

One of the five Arizona designs shows a multi-rayed sun peeking over a rim of the Grand Canyon. A second combines much of the first design’s image with a separate view of a saguaro amid other desert plants. A third is devoted exclusively to a desert scene dominated by saguaros.

The fourth shows 19th-century explorer John Wesley Powell in a boat on Colorado River rapids inside the Grand Canyon, while the fifth design shows two code talkers, U.S. Marines who used their native language to thwart Japanese eavesdroppers during World War II.

Each state’s quarter is supposed to be representative of the state, its history and geography, and the decades-long longevity of quarters means that the chosen design will serve as “an enduring symbol of Arizona,” Napolitano stated in her Oct. 5, 2005, order establishing the commission.

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