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

Citizens in 26 states and thousands of cities have a greater voice than Alabamians because our legislative process permits trumping 9-5 working voices with well-funded special interest groups.  As a result, many citizens have apathetically surrendered their civic duty asking “Why vote, does it matter?”

It does matter.  Moreover, that solution is rests with our legislature.  The ability to create a “citizen friendly” state along with the “business friendly” state touted by Speaker Mike Hubbard is solely theirs.  Their unwillingness to provide citizens a vote on Initiative and Referendum (I&R), the capability for citizens to be more involved in state government, is self-preservation.

The group that wants to take the politically powerful process of drawing election maps away from Illinois lawmakers is facing more challenges after election authorities found that a majority of petition signatures needed to put the question to voters were invalid.

State Board of Elections executive director Rupert Borgsmiller said less than half of a 5 percent sample of signatures submitted by the “Yes for Independent Maps” campaign were valid — dealing a blow to an effort that already faces a court challenge in Chicago. But campaign officials say they’ve got enough valid signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November and argue the state was “sloppy” in verifying signatures.

It was a sunny day to drive out the darkness in politics.

That was part of the reason Carrie Potts sat at a table outside the Kalama Post Office on Tuesday. She was searching for signatures to help eventually roll back what she sees as the negative effects of unlimited and anonymous spending in elections.

As the Cowlitz County team leader for WAmend, Potts is the point person for the petition drive for Initiative 1329 — which seeks a place on the November ballot so Washington voters can decide if they want to advise the state’s Congressional delegation to get working on a Constitutional amendment drawing a line between human and corporate speech.

We noted back in December the creation of a new issue committee seeking to ban conceal carry on Colorado college campuses.  But compared to how much attention the high profile fracking bans are receiving, this damaging ballot measure appears to be largely flying under the radar.

The Daily Camera reports that anti-gun organizers have “collected half the signatures needed for a November ballot measure asking voters to ban concealed weapons on public college and university campuses in Colorado.”  Petitioners must turn in 86,105 valid signatures by June 30 to qualify for the ballot.  To be safe, they should collect closer to 120,000 signatures to accommodate for those that are disqualified.

Greta Van Susteren went to Mexico to speak to the mother of jailed U.S. Marine Andrew Tahmooressi, who has been held in prison since April 1 on firearms charges.

Tahmooressi says he took a wrong turn in San Diego, Calif., ending up at the border of Mexico. That’s when border guards searched his car and found three guns that were legally purchased in the United States.

His mother Jill Tahmooressi went “On The Record,” where she discussed seeing her son for the first time since April 14. He was recently relocated from La Mesa Penitentiary in Tijuana, where Jill said he feared for his life, to El Hongo II State Penitentiary.

Opponents of Michael Law, the Kuna School Board trustee who opposed a two year, $6.38 million levy in March, say they will file a petition for his recall on Tuesday, which is election Day.

If the signatures are verified, a recall election could be held on Aug. 26.

Terri Reno, a Kuna grandmother with two grandchildren in district schools and five more who will likely be attending, said she waited for election day because she did not want the recall to overshadow the district’s second attempt at passing the levy Tuesday.

She also said she wanted the petition submitted before the outcome of Tuesday’s vote is tabulated, so voters wouldn’t think the levy outcome made a difference in their decision to seek the recall.

I have a riddle for you. When gathering signatures to put an initiative on the ballot, which would require more signatures? 1. A petition that covers Benton County. 2. A petition that covers the City of Corvallis?

Here are some not so helpful clues:

•  The City of Corvallis sits within Benton County.

•  More people live in Benton County than the city of Corvallis.

•  The petition for Benton County affects more voters.

• The City of Corvallis occupies less land than Benton County.

Recently, Benton County Clerk, James Morales said that a group needs 2,171 signatures to place their measure on the Benton County November ballot.

In the quest for early voting in Missouri, Matthew Patterson says Sunday was satisfying.

About a half-hour before the 5 p.m. deadline, supporters of a ballot initiative petition to establish early voting in Missouri submitted what they said were more than 300,000 signatures contained in dozens of boxes.

In order to go on the ballot, the initiative petition needs approximately 160,000 voter signatures.

Patterson, the Springfield-based director of Missouri ProVote, said more than 36,000 signatures were collected in the Greene County area as part of a statewide effort. Locally, the collection effort began in mid-February and lasted until this past Friday, he said.

Backers of the initiative petitions filed in recent weeks with the city need around 6,000 valid signatures to call a vote.

That number is going up after last week’s mayoral election.

The signature requirement is based on turnout in the most recent city-wide election.

Read More: here

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.

Read more: here

In seeking the precarious balance between the rights of citizens to petition the government and the right of the public to avoid a nuisance, the choice is clear: Petitioning the government is a sacred prerogative. There is a reason the First Amendment to the United States Constitution includes free speech; there is a reason the Washington Constitution guarantees citizens the right to legislate “independent of the Legislature.” The ability to petition the government must remain inviolate.

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.

Read More: here

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has rejected a petition for the proposed “Ohio Voters Bill of Rights” because the summary of the petition was not “a fair and truthful statement of the measure to be referred.”

On February 4, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition from a group called Ohioans for a Voters Bill of Rights to amend the Ohio Constitution via the “Ohio Voters Bill of Rights.” Attorney General DeWine’s letter rejected the summary because it contained at least two misrepresentations regarding issues where the Ohio Constitution is pre-empted by federal law.

More than 50 opponents of a proposed pension reform measure that would affect employees of Ventura County showed up at Home Depots in Simi Valley, Newbury Park and Camarillo over the weekend to dissuade individuals from signing a petition supporting the reform.

The demonstrators held signs and spoke out loudly against the measure, calling it, among other things, misleading and draconian.

Among the protestors was Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean.