Of the 24 initiative and referendum states, only five states have such requirements. Only one, Colorado, requires circulators to wear a badge. The other four require the notice to appear on the petition form.
In Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation (1999), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Tenth Circuit Court decision invalidating a Colorado law that required circulators to display their name on a badge. The court held:
ACLF presented [evidence] that compelling circulators to wear identification badges inhibits participation in the petitioning process.
Since Buckley, badge requirements have focused on disclosing the paid or volunteer status of petition circulators.
- Laws governing petition circulators
- History of restrictions on paid circulators
- Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation
Badge requirements by state
Arizona requires that paid circulators be identified as such on petition forms. Arizona does not require badges identifying paid circulators.
Colorado law requires that paid and volunteer circulators be identified as such on badges. Colorado law used to require that the badges include the circulator's name, but this requirement was struck down in Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation.
Nebraska law requires that the circulator's paid/volunteer status be disclosed on the petition form in large red type.
Oregon requires that paid petition circulators be identified by their petition form. The color of petition sheets circulated by paid gatherers must be different than the color of those circulated by volunteers. If proponents pay anyone to collect signatures, all petitions forms must prominently feature, in bold type, the words: "Some Circulators For This Petition Are Being Paid." In addition, the sheets must explain the color scheme for differentiated volunteer and paid circulators.
Wyoming requires that any petition circulated by a paid signature gatherer bear the following notice on each page in large, red letters: "This circulator is being paid to solicit signatures for this ballot proposition." In addition, Wyoming law requires the notice to be "prominently displayed and made visible to the petition signer by the circulator."