Wyoming Initiative Process, Constitutional Amendment B (2008)
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)|
Election results via:Wyoming Secretary of State
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.
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.
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."
- State Representative Roy Cohee, R-District 35, co-sponsor
- State Senator Tony Ross, R-Cheyenne
- Representative Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne
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.
- Ann Robinson, a former member of the Wyoming State Legislature from district 58
- Equality State Policy Center in Casper
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."
- Wyoming 2008 ballot measures
- Wyoming signature requirements
- List of Wyoming ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- Laws governing the initiative process in Wyoming
- Campaign finance requirements for Wyoming ballot measures
- Wyoming's 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 Wyoming Ballot Measures Election Results
- 2008 Wyoming Ballot Measures Voter Guide
- Full copy of bill authorizing Amendment B to appear on ballot
- General election ballot set (dead link)
- Access to the ballot, Denver Post, December 14, 2008.
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