Idaho State Capitol building in Boise on March 20, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
Reclaim Idaho, a grassroots organization that spearheaded the ballot initiative campaign for Medicaid expansion in Idaho in 2018, has filed an initiative with the Idaho Secretary of State that would preserve the traditional signature requirements for ballot initiatives in the state.
Senate Bill 1110 passed the Idaho House on Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 51-18, and now awaits Gov. Brad Little’s approval or veto. The bill requires Idaho residents to collect signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts across the state, which opponents have said is the most restrictive law in the country and would make it nearly impossible to put future initiatives on the ballot.
Reclaim Idaho’s Initiative Rights Act would reverse the effects of Senate Bill 1110. Those traditional requirements are that signatures are required from 6% of registered voters in Idaho, regardless of where they live.
“If a highly motivated group of citizens in North Idaho or Eastern Idaho wants to place an initiative on the ballot, they shouldn’t be required to collect large numbers of signatures from all 13 of the districts in Ada and Canyon counties,” said Luke Mayville, founder of Reclaim Idaho. “It’s hard enough to collect signatures from 6% of the state’s registered voters.”
Mayville stressed they would only campaign for the initiative’s passage if the Senate bill becomes law and is not defeated in future court battles.
“The Initiative Rights Act is an insurance policy for the people of Idaho. If neither the governor nor the courts decide to protect citizen initiative rights, we believe that Idaho citizens should have the opportunity to take the matter into their own hands,” Mayville said.
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