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Each Tuesday Ballotpedia releases an update on the number of measures on state-wide ballots around the country. This week the total is up to 109. Of that total 89 are on ballot by legislative referrel and 20 are citizen initiated ballot measures. We will keep you informed about what is on ballots around the country each Tuesday with an update from Ballotpedia.

Read the story from Ballotpedia.org

BallotPedia's Ballot Measure Count Up to 109

Tue, May 4 2010 by Anonymous

Each Tuesday Ballotpedia releases an update on the number of measures on state-wide ballots around the country. This week the total is up to 109. Of that total 89 are on ballot by legislative referrel and 20 are citizen initiated ballot measures. We will keep you informed about what is on ballots around the country each Tuesday with an update from Ballotpedia.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the Doe v Reed case out of Washington State. The case will decide whether or not signers of an initiative petition have a right to privacy. The Doe side argues that signing a petition is protected free speech and the release of the names will result in intimidation from opponents. Reed argues that the release of the names is part of keeping government transparent and prevent fraud.

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Join us this summer in San Francisco! Citizens in Charge Foundation is hosting the U.S. Conference on Initiative & Referendum. This will be a unique gathering of academics, journalists, activists, elected officials, think-tank leaders, political professionals and - best of all - citizens from all over the nation discussing ways to expand and protect citizen initiative rights.

Transcripts of the oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday in Doe v. Reed - a case dealing with voter privacy - have been made available. You can read the transcript from the Court’s website here.

In a hearing punctuated by sharp questions, U.S. Supreme Court justices Wednesday seemed skeptical that people who sign ballot petitions — including one that sought to overturn a gay-rights law in Washington state — should remain anonymous. “Running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage,” Justice Antonin Scalia said during oral arguments in a case brought by conservative groups trying to keep Referendum 71 petition signatures secret. “The First Amendment offers no protection against criticism or even nasty phone calls.”

Today the US Supreme Court heard arguments in the Doe v Reed case out of Washington State. The case pits the privacy of petition signers against transparency in the process. This is an important case that will set precedent on the issue and be highly influential in future ballot initiative campaigns and court battles.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major campaign disclosure case that tests whether the Constitution protects the anonymity of people who sign petitions to get an initiative on the ballot.

Read the story from NPR

Last week Trevor Ford talked about New Jersey voters taking charge of their state using local initiative and referendum processes. What happened in New Jersey underscores how much power can be given to citizens when they have an accessible local process to initiate legislation and bring government matters to a vote.

The following states recognize some form of local initiative and referendum rights for more than half their citizens:

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that speaks to core issues of voting and political freedom: Should the names of people who sign petitions to get referendums on ballots be public or secret? The question is whether signing such a referendum is similar to casting a vote in an election or more closely resembles the type of political activism that should be public, such as making a sizable donation to a campaign.