SCS/SB 569 - This act modifies various provisions relating to initiative and referendum petitions.
Only mistakes, errors, or omission by those signing petitions shall invalidate those signatures.
The text of a petition may contain strike-through font to indicate the language to be deleted and shall contain all sections that are to be explicitly repealed.
Currently, signatures of voters from counties other than the one designated on the petition are invalid. Under this act they are valid if the voter or proponent of the petition identifies the voter's county of residence and shows proof of the voter's registration within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate of sufficiency or insufficiency by the Secretary of State.
Currently, signatures collected by circulators who have not registered by the final day for filing petitions are not counted. This act allows them to be counted when proof of the authenticity of the signatures is provided within 30 days of the issuance of the certificate of sufficiency or insufficiency by the Secretary of State.
The act creates the misdemeanor crime of intentional misrepresentation of a petition which occurs when the person knowingly and fraudulently gathers signatures for a petition. The act also creates the misdemeanor crime of malicious obstruction of the signing of a petition which occurs when the person maliciously intimidates, obstructs, or attempts to or otherwise prevents a voter from signing a petition.
Signature pages for petitions shall be arranged in file folders, with no more than 100 pages in each folder, labeled to indicate the county in which the signatures were gathered and the page numbers of the signature pages in each folder.
This act repeals a provision requiring the attorney general or the circuit court of Cole county to return an unsatisfactory fiscal note summary to the auditor for revision.
Changes to the official ballot title resulting from challenges brought later than 10 days after the official ballot title is certified shall not affect the validity of the signatures collected on the petitions. When a party other than the proponent of the measure initiates a challenge to the official ballot title, the proponent shall receive copies of all communications and court documents relating to the challenge and shall be allowed to intervene in the case. The court shall decide challenges to the official ballot title within 55 days from the original certification by the Secretary of State and the appeals court shall render a decision within 30 days of the filing of the appeal. Parties may then appeal to the Supreme Court which shall render a decision within 30 days.
Currently, the Secretary of State shall refer copies of petition sheets to the attorney general and to the auditor for approval. This act requires these copies to be referred within 2 business days.
Currently, the Secretary of State shall notify those submitting petition sheets of approval or rejection within 30 days of submission. This act reduces that time to 15 days.
This act is similar to SB 598 (2007), SB 934 (2008), SB 1003 (2008), SB 954 (2008), SB 909 (2008), HB 1763 (2008), HB 228 (2009), HB 808 (2009), HB 837 (2009) and SB 115 (2009).