Newswire

Colorado campaigners have secured enough signatures to get two initiatives that would place restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state on the November ballot.

The measures need 86,105 signatures by Aug. 4, and Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy said it has well surpassed that mark. The effort, bankrolled in part by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has roiled Colorado politics, where sitting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall are both trying to win re-election.

An initiative seeking to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot, the state said on its website on Tuesday.

Only two U.S. states, Washington and Colorado, currently allow recreational marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Oregon’s proposal will come before voters just two years after they rejected a similar measure.

“This is a moment we’ve been waiting for, that we’ve worked months to get to,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for the campaign in favor of the Oregon initiative. Since 2012, when voters turned down a similar measure, public support has grown for legalized marijuana in the Pacific Northwest state, he said.

It’s already very clear that Colorado’s 2014 election is going to be epic. What’s unknown at this point though is just how epic it will be.

We know about the race for the U.S. Senate bringing in millions of dollars of campaign funds. And we know the races for Governor and for Congress in the 6th CD will be among the most competitive races in the country, bringing in their own millions.

But while it is expected that the battle over fracking bans and regulations will only add to this mess, we truly do not know to what extent.

Secretary of Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch has completed tabulating petition signatures for the 2014 ballot issues, and says no citizen-proposed issue has qualified to appear on the November General Election ballot.  Two legislative referenda will appear on the ballot, as referred by the 2013 Montana Legislature.

“We haven’t had a general election without a citizen initiative on the ballot since 1972,” Secretary McCulloch said.  “That’s the same year voters approved the current Montana Constitution.”

A ballot initiative that would have given communities sweeping powers over oil drilling and other industrial activity was pulled Monday for a lack of supporting signatures, sponsors said.

Initiative 75 would have added the so-called Community Rights Amendment to the state constitution, but to get it on the ballot required 86,105 valid signatures — a rule of thumb is that 125,000 signatures need to be gathered to meet the requirement.

“With just nine weeks to get 125,000 signatures and lacking hundreds of thousands in funding, we knew we faced an uphill battle for 2014,” the sponsors said in a statement. “We took a tally this week and now know that we’re going to be well short of where we need to be.”

If you have signed a petition to put an initiative measure to a statewide vote Nov. 4, your signature may be among thousands that state officials check against voter registration records.

Then again, your signature may not be checked.

Under Oregon’s verification process, sampling is used to determine whether supporters have gathered the minimum 87,213 signatures required to qualify an initiative for the statewide ballot. The number changes every four years, because the Oregon Constitution specifies that it is 6 percent of the total votes cast for governor. For a proposed constitutional amendment, the threshold is 8 percent.

Read More: here

A group pushing for legalizing medical marijuana in Arkansas says it won’t have enough signatures to put its proposal before voters this fall.

Arkansans for Compassionate Care said Monday it wouldn’t turn in signatures to place its proposed initiated act on the November ballot. Monday is the deadline for ballot measure campaigns to submit petitions.

Meanwhile, supporters of measures to expand alcohol sales in Arkansas and raise the state’s minimum wage submitted enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot, pending Secretary of State confirmation.

A group that wants to install a tornado shelter in every public school in Oklahoma spent the holiday weekend gathering signatures to get its initiative petition on an upcoming ballot.

This isn’t Take Shelter Oklahoma’s first attempt to collect 155,000 signatures, but the group is giving it another shot.

Supporters of Take Shelter Oklahoma stood on the porch of David Slane’s Oklahoma City law office last week to celebrate the launch of their second signature gathering campaign.

Read (and listen to) more: here

Nebraska voters may get a chance in November to vote on whether the state’s minimum wage should be increased. Organizers of a petition initiative say they turned in 134,899 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, in hopes of putting the measure on the ballot. If enough signatures are verified, this would be the first petition initiative to be put to voters since 2008.

“To qualify a statutory measure for the ballot, circulators must collect signatures from at least 7 percent of registered voters,” explained Secretary of State John Gale. “Those signatures must include at least 5 percent of registered voters from 38 of the state’s 93 counties.”

Beyond fireworks, American flags and barbecue, be prepared for another sight at Arkansas’ Fourth of July festivals and parades this weekend: Someone asking for signatures.

Supporters of efforts to raise the state’s minimum wage, legalize medical and recreational uses of marijuana and expand alcohol sales are making a last push to gather signatures over the holiday weekend as they near the deadline to submit petitions to the state.