SB 0473 Modifies provisions relating to initiative and referendum petitions
LR Number:S2046.01I Fiscal Note:2046-01
Committee:Elections, Veterans' Affairs & Corrections
Last Action:03/11/99 - Hearing Conducted S Elections, Veterans' Affairs & Journal page:
Corrections Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 1999
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Current Bill Summary

SB 473 - This act modifies various provisions of initiative and referendum petitions.

PENALTY FOR FALSE SIGNATURE - This act changes from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony, the act of signing more than once or in another person's name on an initiative petition or referendum petition.

Additionally, this act makes it a Class D felony knowingly to offer or accept money in exchange for a signature, or knowingly to file a false statement to withdraw a signature on a petition with the Secretary of State. It is also a Class D felony to swear falsely on the petition circulator registration form.

A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year imprisonment or $5,000 fine, or both. A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years imprisonment or $10,000 fine, or both.

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PETITION CIRCULATORS - Petition circulators shall be required to file the following with the Secretary of State:

-Name of petition; -Name and address of circulator; -Whether the circulator is paid and identity of the payor; -Signature of circulator; -Oath and affirmation.

The registration can be made after the circulator has begun collecting signatures, but must be made by the final day to collect petitions.

COUNTING SIGNATURES ON A PETITION - Signatures acquired by a non- registered petition circulator shall be invalid, as are signatures on pages without the official ballot title. The Secretary of State shall establish the process for the random sampling of signatures. Signatures are invalid if they are crossed out. The Secretary of State may choose not to count signatures on a petition that in the Secretary of State's opinion were collected by a circulator who was not registered.

VERIFYING PETITIONS - Currently, when an election authority is asked to verify a petition by random sampling of signatures, the election authority must complete and deliver certified verification of signatures to the Secretary of State by the 11th Tuesday before the election (mid-August for the general election). This act changes the 11th Tuesday to the last Tuesday in July. This act also provides that if a complete verification of signatures has failed random sample, full verification shall be delivered to the Secretary of State by 5 p.m. on the later of the last Tuesday in July or the Friday of the 5th week after the local election authority receives the signatures.

WORD LIMIT - The 50-word limit for the official summary statement is changed to 100 words.

ORDER ON THE BALLOT - Currently, statutory ballot measures are labeled in the order submitted by petition. This act also provides that they shall be labeled in the order passed by the General Assembly. Also, if a ballot measure is labeled before the general election, but not voted on at that election, the letter shall not be reassigned until after it is voted on.

This act is similar to CCS/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 676.