While banning campaign workers from being paid based on how many signatures they collect on a petition has been struck down as unconstitutional in five different states, eight states still have such bans or other restrictions in place. Payment-per-signature allows citizens greater certainty in judging the cost of a petition effort, and states that have enacted bans have seen the cost of qualifying an initiative rise considerably.
Here at the foundation we are constantly getting requests for information on petitioning rights from journalists, lawmakers, scholars, and legal experts. One of the frequently asked questions is “How many states recognize petitioning rights?” Since states vary widely in what rights they recognize, the answer to that isn’t so simple.
States vary widely in whether initiative and referendum rights are recognized and to what extent. The chart below gives a more detailed picture of which states recognize the various petition processes. Click on your state for more details.
In what is shaping up to be a turbulent election year, with voters disgusted with Congress and disenchanted with both major political parties, could term limits re-emerge as a salient issue? Advocates of limits on congressional service hope and expect so, and there is anecdotal evidence to suggest insurgent-minded candidates are talking about it.
We put up a new video late yesterday afternoon from this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC. Our theme was “Government Gone Wild”, and we got a great response from those who stopped by our booth to grab some info or a t-shirt.
Government has Gone Wild, protect yourself with initiative & referendum rights.
Erik Hayden recently wrote a piece in Miller-McCune outlining our report card on citizen initiative rights, and comparing it to another organizations similar report. Our comprehensive analysis of the intitiative & referendum process in each of the 50 states and Washington, DC shows that threats to these citizen rights exist all across the country.
If corporations can cut out the middleman, why not citizens? That appears to be the logic behind grassroots organizations on the left and the right who have championed the use of citizen-led ballot initiatives to break legislative stalemates and enact much needed social or fiscal reform. The ballot initiative system, which causes near constant controversy in the 24 states that allow it, gives average voters the ability to write and implement statewide legislation — and in some cases directly override elected officials.
CPAC 2010 turned out well for Citizens in Charge Foundation. The Government Gone Wild theme was a huge hit; the t-shirts, state grades reports, and information flew off the table at our booth. The government indeed has gone wild, and citizen initiative rights are one of the best ways to get it back under control.
We will likely be ordering more of the Gov’t Gone Wild t-shirts, so make sure to stay tuned to our website for more information.