Supporters of an initiative that would jettison Oregon’s partisan primaries said they submitted 140,045 signatures to the secretary of state on Monday — appearing to give them enough to earn a spot on the November ballot.

The Every Oregon Voter Counts Petition Committee collected the signatures in just a little over five weeks in what the group said was the fastest effort to collect initiative signatures in Oregon history.

Sponsors of proposed ballot initiatives are scrambling in the final days before a Friday deadline to gather enough signatures to put their issues to Montana voters on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The Montana Secretary of State’s office has approved a dozen initiative petitions for signature-gathering after they passed legal reviews by the attorney general. Officials on Monday did not know how many — if any — would make the deadline.

“We’re just kind of waiting,” said spokeswoman Terri McCoy. “It’s not unusual for all those signatures to come in at the last minute.”

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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

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.

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.

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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.

The first of almost a dozen ballot proposals to allow greater local control of oil and gas development cleared an important hurdle Friday, winning clearance from the Colorado Supreme Court.

Known as Initiative 75, for now, the proposed constitutional amendment would give local governments more control over businesses and corporations that impact the health and safety of a community. That would include oil and gas drilling and hydrolic fracturing operations, which are regulated at the state level with some input from local governments.

The Colorado Community Rights Network, which successfully backed voter-approved fracking regulations in Lafayette, is heading up the initiative.

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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Initiatives are a way for the general public to get involved if the state Legislature won’t pass proposals that might be popular with everyday Montanans.

The right to submit an initiative is firmly granted in the state’s 1972 Constitution, and we acknowledge that voters no doubt will have a chance to cast ballots on some of these issues on the Nov. 4 general election ballot this year.

Granted, a few of the proposals on this year’s list of potential initiatives are either inane — such as a proposal to require half of the members of the Legislature to be women and half men — or the language has already been discarded in favor of a different initiative.

A bill being considered in Pierre changes the way initiated measures and referendum petitions in South Dakota are verified.

Some critics say the change makes it easier for big moneyed interests to challenge a petition effort.

Under current law–someone who wants to bring an issue before voters in a statewide election must gather the necessary signatures and then have the petitions checked and verified by the Secretary of States office.  Anyone wishing to challenge the petitions has 5 days to do so.

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Critics launched attacks Friday on two separate fronts against the Count My Vote ballot initiative, which seeks to dump political-party caucuses and conventions for a direct primary.

First, the Senate voted 22-4 to approve and send to the House SB54 that would nullify the initiative as long as parties tweak their caucus and convention system.

Second, an opposition group filed a complaint with the lieutenant governor seeking to disqualify most of the 100,000 signatures collected so far by Count My Vote. It alleged numerous violations, including lying to voters about what they are signing.

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It appears opponents of the city of Sacramento’s subsidy to bring a new arena to downtown are a step closer to having voters decide.

The petition backed by the Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, STOP, needed 22,000 valid signatures go get on the June ballot. According to the Sacramento County Voter Registrar’s Office, 22,498 signatures of the 34,532 submitted were validated, that’s 65.2 percent.

State lawmakers are moving to repeal major changes in voting laws made last year — and then reenacting at least some of them in a way to thwart a referendum drive.

The proposal from Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, comes after foes of those changes gathered enough signatures to put the measure on hold. And it will remain there until November when voters get to decide if they approve of what lawmakers have done.

HB 2196 would repeal the law, making the November vote unnecessary.

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Ward 2 City Councilman Ed Shadid is advocating for two initiative petitions filed Jan. 2. The first calls for citywide vote to prohibit use of sales taxes for a new downtown convention center and hotel. The second would end the MAPS 3 sales tax in 2015, instead of 2018.

If both measures secure ballot status and gain voter approval, the result could mean a sales tax cut for residents. Supporters will have 90 days to gather 6,000 valid signatures for each petition.

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It seems everywhere we turn these days, state bans on marriage for same-sex couples are falling.  Eighteen American jurisdictions (17 states and the District of Columbia) now allow same-sex couples to wed on the same terms as opposite-sex couples.  Here in Oregon, our constitutional exclusion of marriage for same-sex couples is being challenged both in court and at the ballot box.

Concern over variations in the ballots used to collect signatures to put the downtown Sacramento arena before voters led to a pause in signature verification this week, and the count had to be restarted Friday.

“We had some sorting to do,” Jill LaVine, Sacramento County Registrar of Voters, said in describing the pause. That resulted in her office issuing no update on how many signatures had been verified of the 34,000 submitted by groups concerned about the arena plan. Earlier this week, The4000, a group opposing the ballot measure and supporting the arena, called for further scrutiny of the ballots after determining at least five different versions were used last summer and fall to collect voter signatures.