The Republic

Supporters of two ballot initiatives spent the last week gathering signatures at the North Dakota State Fair.

The Minot Daily News reports ( that petitions were circulated for one measure requiring North Dakota schools to start after labor day and another measure that would establish a trust fund for water, wildlife and parks projects.

The deadline to get an issue on the November ballot is Aug. 6.

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More than half of the signatures collected to get a measure opposing genetically modified foods on the Nov. 4 ballot in Maui County were rejected.

Organizers collected more than 9,700 signatures, but the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that the Maui County Clerk deemed about 5,000 of them invalid.

The initiative seeks to ban genetically modified organisms in Maui County.

To get on the general election ballot, an initiative petition must have about 8,500 valid signatures, or 20 percent of the number of people who voted in the last mayoral election.

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Advocates of raising Michigan’s minimum wage pushed back Tuesday on a competing Republican bill to raise the wage, calling the measure “trickery” and saying it would silence voters.

Representatives of the Raise Michigan coalition said a bill introduced last week by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, would undermine their push to have voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage from $7.40 to $10.10 by 2017 through a ballot initiative. The campaign has collected more than the 258,000 signatures needed for a measure to appear on the November ballot to amend current law, spokeswoman Danielle Atkinson said.


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A group wants Columbus residents to vote on whether the city should be paying for its professional hockey team’s home arena, and it has collected enough signatures to get the issue on the May ballot.

That means voters will be asked whether to end the city’s purchase contract for Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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The 2012 election in Arizona was unsatisfactory to pretty much everyone. Not so much because of the results, which of course pleased some and disappointed others. But because of the process ”” last-minute lawsuits, large sums of anonymous campaign expenditures, the slow process of counting votes.

As a result, there are an unusually large number of election-law changes working their way through the Legislature this session. Only two are really important.

SCR1006, championed by Sen. Michele Reagan, R-Scottsdale, would move the deadline for filing initiative petitions up from four months to six months before the general election.

A ballot measure that would criminalize abortion by granting “personhood” status to a human embryo is one of nearly a dozen proposals that Oklahoma lawmakers want to send to voters in November.

The personhood amendment is similar to a proposal that was rejected by Mississippi voters last year, but the author of the Oklahoma proposal, Rep. Mike Reynolds, said Monday that he’s modified the language to specify that the measure does not apply to miscarriages or to cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.

Read more at The Republic.

A Nebraska lawmaker has proposed a constitutional amendment that would raise lawmaker salaries to $32,000 a year.

The measure (LR373CA) introduced Tuesday by Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh

Read more at The Republic.

A proposed ballot measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Colorado has survived two legal challenges.

The Colorado Supreme Court this week rejected two challenges to the measure that would ask voters whether marijuana in small amounts should be legal for people over 21. Sponsors of the marijuana measure are gathering signatures to place the question on 2012 ballots.

A resolution approved by the Ohio Senate would let voters decide whether they should have to follow certain requirements under the federal health care overhaul. The GOP-controlled Ohio Senate voted to 24-9 to place on the November ballot a measure that would prohibit any law from compelling Ohioans to participate in a health care system.

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A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment revising how citizens get initiatives placed on statewide ballots. Organizers of initiative petition campaigns now must get signatures from voters in two-thirds of Missouri’s congressional districts. The Senate elections committee voted 5-3 Monday to back a proposal that would require signatures from voters in all districts. Missouri now has nine U.S. House districts, but is losing one for the 2012 elections.

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Residents of Williston on Tuesday were deciding whether to change how they support the local park district. The ballot measure would put in place for five years a 1 percent city sales tax and eliminate the current property tax levy for the park district.

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A group trying to get an ethics initiative onto the 2012 ballot claims Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell is violating state law with rules for petition signatures. Utahns for Ethical Government will announce the details of the lawsuit Monday. The group says Bell, who oversees the state elections office, is not giving them 12 months to gather signatures, which is the allotted time in state law.

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Electronic signatures will be prohibited through a bill passed by Utah lawmakers Wednesday night. The Salt Lake Tribune says Senate Bill 165 will require a registered voter to sign a petition in person instead of online. The bill passed the House 52-23 Wednesday. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert.

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