Kentucky to reconsider petition process

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November 30, 2011

FRANKFORT, Kentucky: Kentucky legislators are considering changing the state's local ballot measure process after a proposal did not make it onto the November 2011 ballot.[1]

The Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky and the Northern Kentucky Tea Party submitted a petition with the required number of signatures, but the Kenton County clerk was unable to verify enough names in time for the election. The petition would have placed on the local ballot the question of whether to end the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission.[1] Kentucky has no statewide referendum system, but citizens can place measures on their local ballots.

Some have said the incident shows that Kentucky's local ballot measure petition process is too difficult.[2] In response, Kentucky's General Assembly has appointed a task force to consider streamlining and clarifying the process.[2] Task force chairman Sen. Damon Thayer (R) will seek greater consistency in the requirements.

Lawmakers will take up the task force's draft legislation in early 2012.[1]

James Lewis, president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association, said: "Hopefully the requirements can be standardized to where situations like this can be prevented and give us tools we need."[1]

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