Wyoming Initiative Process, Constitutional Amendment B (2008)

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Wyoming Initiative Process, Constitutional Amendment B is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment that appeared on the November 2008 ballot in Wyoming, where it was defeated.[1]

Election results

Although more votes were cast for Amendment B than against Amendment B, it lost, because in Wyoming a constitutional amendment must be approved by a majority of those voting in the election as measured by total ballots cast in the election. Since 256,035 ballots were cast in this election, Measure B would have required 128,019 votes in order to be approved.

Wyoming Amendment A (2008)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No101,65539.70%
Yes 120,333 47.00%
Total vote256,035

Election results via:Wyoming Secretary of State

Background

In 1998, voters approved changes to Wyoming's initiative process. This amendment was also known as Amendment B. The 2008 measure would modify the distribution requirement implemented in 1998.

Since 1998, signatures equal to 15% of the total number of voters in the preceding general election must be collected in each of 2/3 of the state's 23 counties. Under the 2008 measure, initiative supporters would have to gather signatures from two-thirds of the state's 30 Senate districts instead. As of 2008, no initiated measure had qualified for the Wyoming ballot since 1996 due to the strict laws governing its initiative process. As such, the constitutional amendment may have little practical impact.[2]

Specific provisions

Amendment B would have amended the Wyoming Constitution to change how the distribution requirement works for Wyoming signature requirements on any initiatives in future years. Initiative supporters would have had to get signatures from 15% of the qualified voters in two-thirds of the state's thirty (30) state senate districts.[2]

Ballot language

The wording of the ballot question said:

"The passage of this amendment would change the requirement for petition signatures for an initiative or referendum. Currently a petition must be signed by at least fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified voters in at least two-thirds (2/3) of the counties, as determined by those who voted in the last general election. This amendment would change the requirement to at least fifteen percent (15%) of the qualified voters in at least two-thirds (2/3) of the senate districts, as determined by those who voted in the last general election."[3]

Supporters

Supporters include:

Arguments in Support

Argument made in support of the measure included:

  • There is concern that the current law is unconstitutional based on court decisions in other states throwing out county-based distribution requirements.
  • A distribution requirement that sets the distribution by state senate districts is likely to pass constitutional muster more readily than the county-based distribution requirement, due to population distribution.

Opponents

Opponents included:

Arguments in opposition

Arguments made in opposition to the measure included:

  • Under Amendment B, the percentage is based on the number of voters in a senate district who participate in a particular election. According to Robinson, "The disparity is the number of people who voted in the last election. The more you vote, the more signatures you need. It makes more sense to have everybody’s signature in the state count the same."[4]

See also

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References