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Difference between revisions of "Laws governing the initiative process in Idaho"

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Revision as of 17:15, 6 January 2014

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Ballot law
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State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
1.1 Crafting an initiative
1.1.1 Single-subject rule
1.1.2 Subject restrictions
1.1.3 Competing initiatives
1.2 Starting a petition
1.2.1 Applying to petition
1.2.2 Proposal review/approval
1.2.3 Fiscal review
1.3 Collecting signatures
1.3.1 Number required
1.3.2 Distribution requirements
1.3.3 Restrictions on circulators
1.3.4 Electronic signatures
1.3.5 Deadlines for collection
1.4 Getting on the ballot
1.4.1 Signature verification
1.4.2 Ballot title and summary
1.5 The election and beyond
1.5.1 Supermajority requirements
1.5.2 Effective date
1.5.3 Litigation
1.5.4 Legislative tampering
1.5.5 Re-attempting an initiative
1.6 Funding an initiative campaign
1.7 State initiative law
2 Changes in the law

Citizens of Idaho may only initiate legislation as a state statute. Idahoans may also repeal legislation via veto referendum, but cannot place a constitutional amendment on the ballot via initiative. The Idaho State Legislature, on the other hand, may place measures on the ballot as legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.

Crafting an initiative

Of the 24 states that allow citizens to initiate legislation through the petition process, several states have adopted restrictions and regulations that limit the allowable scope and content of initiated proposals. These regulations may include laws that mandate that initiatives address only one topic, restrict the range of acceptable topics for proposed laws, prohibit unfunded mandates, and establish guidelines for adjudicating contradictory measures.

Single-subject rule

See also: Single-subject rule

Idaho does not employ a single-subject rule.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Subject restrictions

See also: Subject restrictions (ballot measures)

Idaho does not restrict the subject matter of initiated measures. In addition, they are not required to specify a funding source for mandated expenditures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Competing initiatives

See also: Superseding initiative; "Poison pills"; List of Idaho ballot measures

Idaho law provides that in the event that two measures conflict, the measure with the most affirmative votes supersedes the other on any points of conflict. However, the other measure is not wholly superseded.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1811

Starting a petition

Each initiative and referendum state employs a different procedure for filing petition applications. Some states require preliminary signatures while others do not. In addition, several states review each proposed statute, verifying that the law conforms to the style and conventions of state law and recommending alterations to initiative proponents. Some of these of these states also review the law for more substantive considerations of content and consistency. Also, many states conduct a review of the ballot title and summary, and several states employ a fiscal review process which analyzes proposed laws to determine their impact on state finances.[1][2][3]

Applying to petition

See also: Approved for circulation

Idaho is one of several states that require a certain number of signatures to accompany petition applications. The signatures of 20 qualified electors are required. Along with the signatures, proponents must file a copy of the proposed bill with the Secretary of State. Once these requirements are met, the Secretary transfers the proposal to the Attorney General for review.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1804 & Section 34-1804

Proposal review/approval

See also: Approved for circulation

After receiving the measure from the Secretary, the Attorney General is required to evaluate the proposal and provide recommendations on substance, form, and style. These revisions are advisory; petitioners are free to accept or reject them. After the review, the sponsor must re-submit the revised proposal to the Secretary of State. The Attorney General then assigns the measure a short and long ballot title.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1804 & Section 34-1804

Fiscal review

See also: Fiscal impact statement

Idaho does not prepare a fiscal analysis for ballot measures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Collecting signatures

Each initiative and referendum state employs a unique method of calculating the state's signature requirements. Some states mandate a certain fraction of registered voters while others base their calculation on those who actually voted in a preceding election. In addition, many states employ a distribution requirement, dictating where in the state these signatures must be collected. Beyond these overarching requirements, many states regulate the manner in which signatures may be collected and the timeline for collecting them.

Number required

See also: Idaho signature requirements

The number of signatures required is equal to 6% of the registered voters as of the last general election in each of at least 18 legislative districts; provided, however, the total number of signatures shall be equal to or greater than 6% of the qualified electors in the state at the time of the last general election.

Year Statute Veto referendum
2014 53,751 53,751
2012 47,432 47,432
2010 51,712 51,712
2008 45,893 45,893

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1805 & SB 1108

Distribution requirements

See also: Distribution requirements

Idaho does not have a distribution requirement. It used to have a distribution requirement requiring 6% of the signatures from each of 22 of Idaho's 44 counties. This rule was struck down in 2001 by a federal court in Idaho Coalition United for Bears v. Cenarrusa.[4] It is not longer a requirement that signatures be collected from one legislative district. However, the signatures must be collected from only one county per petition. Regarding the petition format, the designation of legislative districts must be marked "for official use only."[5]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1, Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18 & Idaho SB 1191

Restrictions on circulators

Circulator requirements

See also: Petition circulator

In Idaho, there are no statutes that prevent a circulator from singing the petition being circulated. Each initiative petition contains a mandatory circulator affidavit. The circulator is required to sign these affidavits before a public notary. He/she must swear to and sign a statement, under the penalty of law, that he/she personally witnessed every act of signing the petition.[6] He or she must also certify that he or she believes each signer noted his/her address correctly. According to Idaho Statutes Sec. 34-1807, those circulating petitions are required:[6]

  • to be a resident of Idaho
  • to be at least 18 years of age

Once circulation is completed, the signatures are submitted to a county clerk who then submits them to the Secretary of State.[6]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 07 & Senate Bill 1191

Pay-per-signature

See also: Pay-per-signature

Idaho does not ban pay-per-signature. It used to have such a ban, but this rule was struck down in 2001 by a federal court in Idaho Coalition United for Bears v. Cenarrusa.[7]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Out-of-state circulators

See also: Residency requirements for petition circulators

Idaho requires that petition circulators are residents of the state. Similar laws in other states have been overturned, but the US Supreme Court has yet to rule on the matter.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1807

Badge requirements

See also: Badge requirements

Idaho does not require paid and volunteer circulators be identified as such on badges or petitions.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Electronic signatures

See also: Electronic petition signatures

Since electronic signatures are an emerging technology, the constitutionality of bans on e-signatures and the legality of e-signatures in states without bans is largely untested. Idaho law does mandate that signatures be collected in the presence of the circulator and that signers "personally" place their name on the petition.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1807

Deadlines for collection

See also: Petition drive deadlines; Circulation period

In Idaho, petitioners have 18 months to collect signatures after the ballot title has been granted. Signatures may not be collected after April 30 of the year in which the measure would appear on the ballot. Signatures must be filed by the close of business on May 1.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1802

Getting on the ballot

Once signatures have been collected, state officials must verify that requirements are met and that fraudulent signatures are excluded. States generally employ a random sample process or a full verification of signatures. After verification, the issue must be prepared for the ballot. This often involves preparing a fiscal review and ballot summary.

Signature verification

See also: Signature certification

In Idaho, each petition signature is verified by the county clerks and transmitted to the Secretary of State. Petitions must contain signatures from only one county and should be filed with the appropriate county clerk.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1802

Ballot title and summary

See also: Ballot title

The short and long ballot titles are assigned when the proposal is submitted for review. The short title is only a few, descriptive words. The long ballot title concisely explains the purpose of the measure. A generic ballot title (Proposition 1, Proposition 2, etc...) is assigned according to the order in which the measures are filed with the secretary.

  • A sample of a past ballot can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1802 & Section 34-1810

The election and beyond

Ballot measures face additional challenges beyond qualifying for the ballot and receiving a majority of the vote. Several states require ballot measures to get more than a simple majority. While some states mandate a 3/5 supermajority, others states set the margin differently. In addition, ballot measures may face legal challenge or modification by legislators. If a ballot measure does fail, some states limit how soon that initiative can be re-attempted.

Supermajority requirements

See also: Supermajority requirements

Idaho initiatives do not require a supermajority for approval. This also applies to legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article XX, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1803

Effective date

Measures take effect as soon as they are approved by voters.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1803

Litigation

See also: Ballot measure lawsuit news

Any person may challenge a ballot title in the Idaho Supreme Court within 20 days. Any time after the Attorney General has reviewed a proposal, any qualified elector may challenge the constitutionality of the measure in the Supreme Court. If a petition fails to qualify for the ballot, any citizen may challenge the decision in the State District Court for the Fourth Judicial District within 10 days. The decision of the district court can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1808 & Section 34-1809

Legislative tampering

See also: Legislative tampering

Idaho does not limit how soon, or with what majority, the legislature can repeal a measure.[8]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Re-attempting an initiative

Idaho does not limit how soon an initiative can be re-attempted.[9]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18

Funding an initiative campaign

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Idaho ballot measures

Some of the notable features of Idaho's campaign finance law include:

  • Idaho treats groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure the same like other political committees.
  • Idaho requires the certification of a campaign treasurer before any political committee registered in support or opposition of a ballot measure can accept contributions.
  • The campaign treasurer for a registered political committee must be a resident of the State of Idaho.
  • Idaho bans labor unions from making donations to political committees in support or opposition of a ballot measure as a condition of union membership.
  • Idaho requires urgent disclosure of all campaign contributions of $1,000 or more in the last sixteen days of the election within 48 hours of receiving a contribution.

State initiative law

Article III of the Idaho Constitution provides authority for the initiative and referendum process.

Title 34, Chapter 18 of the Idaho Statutes governs the initiative and referendum process.

External links

References



Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
2 Changes in the law
2.1 Proposed changes by year
2.1.1 2012
2.1.2 2011
2.1.3 2010

The following laws have been proposed which modify ballot measure law in Idaho.

Proposed changes by year

2012

See also: Changes in 2012 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Idaho State Legislature:

Approveda Idaho House Bill 452 (2012): Bill description/summary: "The legislation adds requirements of the taxing district to provide a statement as to the purpose for which the bonds are to be used, disclose the interest amount of the bonds, and to disclose when the bonds will be paid off or retired."

2011

See also: Changes in 2011 to laws governing ballot measures

No proposed changes were identified in 2011.


2010

See also: Changes in 2010 to laws governing ballot measures

No proposed changes were identified in 2010.



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