Signature recovery lawsuit
Signature recovery lawsuits are the flip side of post-certification signature challenges. In both cases, a private party or political advocacy group files a lawsuit against election officials. In the case of a signature recovery lawsuit, the lawsuit is filed by the initiative's supporters, claiming the election official wrongfully disqualified valid signatures. In the case of a post-certification lawsuit, the initiative's opponents file a lawsuit against election officials, claiming they wrongfully counted as valid some signatures there were in fact invalid.
Signature recovery lawsuits in 2008
- Andy Dillon recall (2008). Supporters of the recall filed a federal lawsuit, Bogaert v. Land, which said that about 2,000 signatures found invalid by the Michigan Secretary of State for reasons of circulator residency must be re-counted because the Michigan residency law is unconstitutional.
- Arizona Proposition 101. This lawsuit was successful and the measure has now been certified for the November ballot.
- Missouri Proposition C, Clean Energy Initiative (2008). Missourians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy filed suit to place their petition on the ballot. The group claimed, and a judge agreed, that some of the signatures had been incorrectly invalidated by the Missouri Secretary of State.
Unsuccessful or withdrawn
- Arizona Proposition 104 (affirmative action)
- Arizona Proposition 203 (the TIME initiative)
- Colorado Amendment 82. Supporters of this initiative filed a signature recovery lawsuit in early October 2008. Since it is too late for their effort to make the 2008 ballot, the relief they seek, if they win the lawsuit, is to be placed on the 2010 ballot. The group says that the Colorado Secretary of State's office disqualified 8,000 signatures that were in fact valid.
Signature recovery lawsuits in 2006
- Committee for a Healthy Future v. Carnahan regarding Missouri Amendment 3. This effort to overturn the Missouri Secretary of State's decision of insuffiency was successful and a judge ordered that the proposed amendment appear on the ballot, where it was defeated.
Signature recovery lawsuits in 2002
- In Citizens for a Healthy Missouri v. Blunt, a judge ruled that additional valid signatures should have been counted in the Tobacco Tax Proposition and ordered it onto the November 2002 ballot. Similarly, supporters of Amendment 2, a collective bargaining initiative, were able to rehabilitate enough signatures to overturn an earlier determination of insufficiency.
- Detroit Free Press, "Effort to recall Dillon revived by new ruling", August 28, 2008
- Ozarks First: Group Sues To Put Initiative On Ballot, August 18, 2008
- Rocky Mountain News, "Secretary of state's office sued over signature disqualifications", October 4, 2008
- Lawsuit Filed to Place Clean Energy Initiative on November Ballot