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.

The process by which Marylanders petition a new law to referendum would become more difficult under a bill under consideration in Annapolis.

Republicans view the electronic petition process as a way to level the playing field with the Democratic majority. Others argue, “What do you need elected officials for if tough issues are always put on a ballot?”

Essentially, the debate divides over whether it’s power to the people or a power grab by the Democrat-controlled State House.

Today’s legislative hearing on Senate Bill 1108 in Idaho was begun and then postponed until Monday after running out of time due to so many individuals and groups in attendance to testify against the legislation.

SB 1108 would dramatically increase the difficulty of qualifying an initiative or referendum for the statewide ballot via petition. Currently, citizens must gather signatures from six percent of registered voters statewide to qualify a ballot measure. Under this requirement, only eight citizen-initiated measures have made the ballot in the last 15 years – most notably the three referendums on last November’s ballot, whereby voters rejected three laws passed by legislators.

A Senate committee has killed a Republican-sponsored bill to shield
from public scrutiny the names and personal information of people who sign petitions to bring General Assembly-passed bills to referendum.

The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee
voted 8-3 along party lines Tuesday night to kill the bill sponsored by Sen. Nancy Jacobs of Harford County. Proponents of the bill said petitions should be exempt from public records laws to protect the privacy of voters.

Read more at the Baltimore Sun

Fury on the Fulham Road

Thu, Jan 31 2013 by Neal Hobson

Supporters of the London, England-based Chelsea Football Club are upset; incensed even. So bothered, in fact, they’ve turned to the petition process with an online effort at that asks the Club to “Ensure that [manager] Rafael Benitez is not considered beyond his interim title.”

In November of 2012, the Chelsea executives appointed Rafael Benitez, a Spaniard coach who had once managed Liverpool Football Club and Inter Milan as the interim manager of Chelsea after the sacking of fan-favorite Roberto DiMatteo.

California’s League of Women Voters is hosting an event to discuss possible reforms of the state’s initiative and referendum process this Friday, Jan. 25, at a library in Carlsbad, California. The League’s longstanding opposition to the initiative process seems to be expressed in the title, “Do We Have to Take This Much Initiative?”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has ordered the Washington Secretary of State not to release the names and addresses of voters who signed the petition for Referendum 71.

By now, any Californian who has not been hounded to sign a petition for a ballot initiative must never go grocery shopping or strolling along a downtown street. The paid signature gatherers are abundant, they are aggressive and sometimes they are deceptive in their pitches. Most of them have an incentive to be pushy and not quite forthright: They are being paid by the signature.


Today several state and national grassroot organizations are denouncing California Senate Bill 34 aimed at silencing voters by restricting the citizen initiative process. In an open letter to the California State Legislature, citizens are speaking out on the legislation that targets their First Amendment rights.

93% said No

Wed, Jun 24 2009 by Staff

In a recent poll 93% of respondents agreed that the names of petition signers should not be placed in a searchable database on the Internet. In several states organizations are trying to put the names of all people who signed a petition into a searchable database.



Read more: Gay-rights group wants to “out” petition signers

In Massachusetts, legislators on the Elections Laws Committee held a hearing on legislation requiring anyone who is gathering signatures for an initiative petition to wear a button including his or her name, the name of the committee and if and how much the person is being paid to collect signatures

Read the story from Pembroke Express

A Mahoning County judge has declined to halt signature-gathering to put another casino issue on Ohio’s November ballot.

Common Pleas Judge James Evans on Friday ordered the Ohio Jobs and Growth Plan, which is collecting the signatures, to not misrepresent the contents of the proposed constitutional amendment, according to a statement from his office.

Read the story from Business Courier of Cincinnati

Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert is betting on the success of a proposed ballot initiative that would put casinos in several Ohio cities.

Gilbert, a chief investor in the proposal, said Wednesday that an initiative to collect more than 400,000 signatures required to put the issue on the November ballot is nearly complete. The signatures are due July 1.

Read the story from USA Today

Signing an initiative petition should be a fairly private matter. Doing so simply means the signer would like to see the matter decided by voters, and does not necessarily indicate how they will vote…

Read the story at the Tacoma Weekly

Winneshiek County residents won’t be voting on the method for electing supervisors this year. A petition had been circulated calling for a vote on matter but it failed to garner the 1,129 signatures (10 percent of the votes cast in the last general election) required. The deadline for obtaining the signatures was Monday.

Read the rest of the story from Decorah Newspaper