Newswire

A California law that requires the sponsors of ballot initiatives to identify themselves on the petitions they circulate to voters violates the constitutional law to speak anonymously, a divided federal appeals court ruled Monday.

“Forced disclosures of this kind are significant encroachments on First Amendment rights,” the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a 2-1 decision.

Robin Warren is a middle school student from Las Vegas who is better known as “Wild Mustang Robin” because of her work in advocacy for wild horses.

Warren first started collecting signatures to save horses and burros in July of 2010. Three years later she had collected nearly a quarter million signatures from supporters all over the world on Change.org.

On June 13, the student filed her first petition that will be officially recognized: “The Wild Horse and Burro Initiative.” If she is able to collect more than 100,000 signatures then Warren’s initiative petition will appear on the 2016 Nevada ballot.

Election laws that prevent elections

Tue, Jun 10 2014 — Source: Reuters

After a half-century in the House of Representatives, Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.), now the second longest serving member of Congress, may be an unsympathetic victim to show how election laws can be unfairly used to keep potential challengers off the ballot.

But recent court rulings on Conyers as well as a New Jersey recall attempt highlight how election laws are frequently designed to benefit those in power — and block potential challengers.

Coming to a grocery store or other public area near you: an army of people seeking your signatures on petitions for initiatives that could appear on the November ballot. The army isn’t just for one ballot measure. Petition holders could be seeking signatures for as many as 22 separate measures.

The race is now on to get voters to sign those petitions and to get interested in the issues, which range from realigning the state House of Representatives, to cut off severance tax revenue to communities that ban fracking, to overturn the 2013 law that limited large-capacity ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, and to require labeling of genetically-modified food.

Coming to a grocery store or other public area near you: an army of people seeking your signatures on petitions for initiatives that could appear on the November ballot. The army isn’t just for one ballot measure. Petition holders could be seeking signatures for as many as 22 separate measures.

The race is now on to get voters to sign those petitions and to get interested in the issues, which range from realigning the state House of Representatives, to cut off severance tax revenue to communities that ban fracking, to overturn the 2013 law that limited large-capacity ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, and to require labeling of genetically-modified food.

Paid and volunteer initiative petition circulators gathered in midtown Lincoln on Friday morning, getting ready for a day of work.

Mosquito repellant and sun screen spray filled the room on the third-floor office at 3130 O St. for a few moments, before workers were to break into groups to memorize and practice their statements to potential petition signers.

Read More: here

Few things have defined California’s politics more than the three election reforms championed by the state’s 23rd governor – the initiative, the referendum and the recall. Hiram Johnson’s system of direct democracy, used early and often in California since 1911, was designed to place power in the hands of “the people.”

That era’s “progressives” believed voters needed the power to circumvent legislators, who were beholden to railroad barons and other special interests. Johnson said the reforms “may prevent the misuse of the power temporarily centralized in the Legislature” and will help control “weak officials.”

A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to impose term limits on lawmakers apparently has enough valid signatures to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Rupert Borsgmiller, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said Monday that a preliminary review of petitions filed by the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits showed that about 60 percent of the signatures on the petitions are valid.

Signatures are being collected in hopes of legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

At a kickoff petition drive Wednesday, supporters called on lawmakers to join their cause to allow voters to decide the issue.

Dozens of people gathered on the south steps of a quiet Capitol Building Wednesday afternoon. A few people arrived as early 10:30 a.m. Many of those in attendance made the trip to Oklahoma City from the Tulsa area.

Disabled veteran Eldon Lunsford of Nowata recently returned home from Denver’s 420 Rally. Lunsford told News 9 he can’t wait to return to his “mile high.”

Read more: here

A pro-hunting coalition on Tuesday turned in 374,000 petition signatures to protect Michigan’s ability to have more gray wolf hunts, proposing a law to override two November ballot issues intended to stop wolf hunting.

Once the measure backed by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is certified — the group needs 258,000 valid signatures — the Republican-led Legislature will have 40 days while in session to vote.

If lawmakers approve it, the November ballot issues would become moot. If legislators do not vote, voters will see three wolf-hunting related proposals in November.

Read More: here