Maryland resident Sue Payne has laid the ground work to create a referendum petition to put to a vote the Old Line State’s new laws relating to gun control. Payne plans to use a website so residents can download and sign the petition to attempt to get the measure on 2014’s ballot.

The petition would need to have 55,000 verified signatures  into the State Board of Elections by the end of June.

Maryland’s residents successfully put 3 referendums on the ballot in 2012. A number of bills to make the referendum process more difficult were defeated in the legislature earlier this year.

Read More: Here

A Montgomery County woman says she is planning a petition effort to get Maryland’s gun control bill put to a popular vote.

Sue Payne tells WBAL-AM ( ) that she hopes to have a website up so voters can download and sign petitions to get the bill on next year’s ballot.

Payne decided to act after opponents of the bill decided on a court challenge rather than a referendum petition.

Read More: Here

The effort to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is approaching its last month needing more than 130,000 valid petition signatures to force an election.

Organizers of the recall effort on Monday said they have collected 200,359 signatures, still far short of the 335,000 signatures they are required to file by May 30 to force Arpaio into a recall election.

Read More Here

Critics of Anchorage’s new municipal labor law are mounting another effort to repeal it.

The Anchorage Assembly last month eliminated the right to strike by eight city unions and took away performance bonuses and incentives in future city contracts. The measure also limits annual pay hikes and creates a system for outsourcing certain city work.

The city last week rejected a petition for a referendum by voters on repeal of the ordinance.

Read More: Here

In February the Long Beach Citizens’ and Patients Rights’ PAC (LBCPR) submitted over 43,000 signatures in an attempt to force a special election on the question of whether medpot dispensaries should be allowed to operate in Long Beach. But last month the City informed LBCPR that the organization failed to obtain the requisite number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Efforts to overturn new limits on the size of homes in historic neighborhoods near downtown Fort Collins have come up short.

A petition drive calling for the repeal of an ordinance setting tighter standards for the square footage, height and design of houses in the Eastside and Westside neighborhoods wound up 43 signatures short of the minimum needed to force action by the City Council, said organizer Jill Kuch.

Petitioners had until 5 p.m. Thursday to turn in 2,809 signatures of registered voters supporting the repeal. If enough signatures had been collected, the council would have been required to repeal the ordinance or have city voters decide the matter through an election.

Michigan voters are seeking to correct a flaw in the state’s referendum laws. Ferndale, Michigan-based Voters for Fair Use of Ballot Referendum are launching their drive to collect signatures on a petition to alter the Wolverine State’s constitution, removing a roadblock in the referendum petition process.

As it currently stands, Michigan law prevents referendums on statutes that contain appropriations. Last fall, Michigan’s controversial right-to-work law purposely added an appropriations in order to block citizens from exercising their right to the “People’s Veto”.

One of the perks of incumbency is the ability to make it harder for your opponents to one day sweep you out from office.

The Republican-led Arizona Legislature has embraced that truism this year with two election overhauls aiming to protect ambitious incumbents while also creating new hurdles for voters looking to give unpopular politicians the boot.

Read more: Here

SB 821, the Keith Ingram bill backed by Attorney General McDaniel to require registration of petition canvassers and otherwise present new hurdles to petition gathering, was approved in a House committee this morning. This is another Friday firm vehicle to benefit the likes of the Southland and Oaklawn casinos, which hate petitions for casino competition, and also to help gas companies who’d just as soon not see another petition effort to raise the severance tax. The frackers joined the gamblers in working for this bill today, opponents said. The bill, if passed, is likely to face a legal challenge for infringing on constitutional protections for petitioning. Legislators were urged to vote against the bill by Paul Jacob, who works for the activist group Citizens in Charge.

The state Senate on Friday rejected a measure that would have made it harder for people to get their proposals on the Arkansas ballot - a plan that was opposed by an unlikely alliance of liberal and conservative activists.

The proposal would have made it more difficult for ballot campaigns to win more time to circulate petitions. If approved by the Legislature, the measure would have appeared on next year’s ballot as a proposed amendment to the state constitution. The Senate rejected it on an 11-13 vote.

Read more: from the Associated Press

The Idaho Legislature altered ballot measure rules earlier this year, making a successful petition campaign more difficult to achieve. Starting July 1, when Senate Bill 1108 goes into effect, it will be harder for Idahoans to gather enough signatures to place initiatives and referendums on the ballot.

Governor C. L. “Butch” Otter signed a bill into law on April 2 thatwill require petitioners to gather six percent of registered voters’ signatures from a minimum of 18 districts. Currently, petitioners must collect six percent of registered voters’ signature statewide. SB 1108 originally required each signature sheet to be separated by legislative district, but the statehouse quickly pushed through Senate Bill 1191 last month to remove that stipulation.

Student concern sparked a petition this March to have a UNF professor moved to tenure-track.

“We just want to get as many signatures as we can,” said Phillip Wenturine, a UNF English senior. “It’s commentary to show why Professor Ari should get the tenure that he deserves.”

Professor Mark Ari, a senior instructor at UNF, has worked at the university for 12 years. However, at the time of his hiring, Professor Ari was hired as a non-tenure-track faculty. The students were initially concerned Ari was being denied tenure, but this was quickly dispelled by Ari himself.

Read more at The UNF Spinnaker

People who fraudulently sign petitions for ballot initiatives could face stiffer penalties under legislation given initial approval by the Missouri Senate.

A bill endorsed Wednesday by senators would make the crime of petition signature fraud a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $25,000.

Violators currently can face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The legislation also expands the crime to cover petition circulators who use trickery to obtain signatures or who knowingly submit forms with false signatures.

Read more at Here

A good salesman can sell anything to anyone, even if what they’re selling would end up being detrimental in the long run. This is exactly what the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation has accomplished in the Gem State, according to Lewiston Tribune reporter William L. Spence.

The sale was completed when Governor Butch Otter’s signed Senate Bill 1108 into law on none-other-than April Fools Day.

By touting fears of urban-liberal agendas clogging citizen-initiated ballot measures, the Farm Bureau had been successful in selling the legislature a signature distribution requirement that will make Idaho’s petition process even more difficult than it already is.  In the last 77 years, only 35 initiatives have been put to a vote.

I mentioned yesterday that a lawsuit was already cooking should the legislature pass a proposal being pushed by the two Arkansas casinos at West Memphis and Hot Springs to make it difficult to put initiated acts and amendments on the ballot.

Here’s one reason why a lawsuit is likely. The pending Arkansas proposal would prohibit paying canvassers for signatures based on the number of signatures they gather. (This serves as a disincentive, because piece work, particularly in places where mass signatures can be gathered, is far more profitable.)

Read more at Arkansas Times