A bill that would toughen the signature requirements for initiatives in Idaho has gone to Governor Brad Little’s desk. He has until Saturday to sign it.
This year’s bill would require signatures from six-percent of registered voters in all 35 legislative districts in order to quality a measure for the ballot.
That’s an increase from the current 18 districts. Its authors say they want to make sure that measures that are popular with urban people aren’t forced upon rural voters.
Opponents, such as Luke Mayville, are encouraging the governor to veto it. Mayville was the co-sponsor of the Medicaid expansion initiative that voters approved in 2018.
“For 76 of the past 88 years, we had a very simple, fair set of rules in the state of Idaho," he said. "If you collect a certain number of signatures from the entire state, you could get an initiative on the ballot and it’s always been a very large number of signatures.”
Mayville says if Little doesn’t veto the signature bill, there may be a legal challenge. Failing that, he has filed a new initiative that would roll back the initiative signature rules to 2012 and take away the district requirements.
Idaho is one of 26 states that allow citizen-initiated ballot measures.