Millions of dollars have been spent on petition campaigns or potential petition campaigns pointing at the November election. Some proposals are being heard to curtail the procedure that some lawmakers think is being abused. .
Petition campaign organizers spent wads of money on lawyers who wrote titles for proposed petitions. Some lawyers put together multiple petitions on the same subject—one submitted about two dozen. Each proposed petition has to be reviewed by the Secretary of State’s staff. Each gets a note showing the costs to the state of the proposal. Each gets a ballot summary written for it. Deputy Secretary of State Rich Lamb says most of that work brought forth—nothing in this election cycle. More than 140 petitions were submitted. Only four submitted signatures. Only two have been determined to have enough signatures to be on the November ballot. Backers of the other two think they can find enough signatures that have been wrongly thrown out to get those two on the November ballot.
The process has drawn critics who think the submission of more than 140 petitions, with only four that have gone out for signatures is, well, ridiculous. The legislature is considering a change in the process, requiring a pre-petition effort that requires 1,000 sponsoring signatures to be gathered for each petition before it can be submitted to the Secretary of State for review. Some lawmakers think that will discourage multiple filings on the same issue.