Reclaim Idaho recently won a big court victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The victory allows them to gather signatures online for their ballot initiative effort. Governor Little is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the effort.
In the meantime, Reclaim Idaho launched its online petition for the initiative just two days ago in hopes of adding to its already 30,000 gathered signatures done on paper.
From the short amount of time that the online effort was launched, Reclaim is claiming approximately 4,500 signatures.
It is important to note that we have not verified how many signatures the group has gathered. We are not disputing the number that Mayville is claiming but simply making sure our readers understand that we have not independently looked at the total number gathered.
The number of total signatures comes from the leader of Reclaim Idaho, Luke Mayville, and a Facebook live video he did announcing the number they had gathered after just 36 hours.
Additionally, it is important to remember that some signatures could be doubles of those they have already gathered in person, signatures of people who are not registered to vote, or other negating factors. It will be up to the state to determine which signatures are valid and which ones are not.
In the video, Mayville also says that they have gathered signatures from 39 of Idaho’s 44 counties. Idaho’s law only requires that enough signatures be gathered from 18 of Idaho’s counties.
Once the organization has 6% of registered voters in at least 18 counties and the signatures get certified, the initiative can then be placed on the ballot in November.
Opposition to the electronic signature gathering comes from those who cite Idaho law which says that signatures must be gathered in person. Online signatures are not gathered in person and conservatives claim this is a violation of the law.
Here is the law (34-1807) being cited by some as a reason the current signature-gathering effort is invalid:
I,…., being first duly sworn, say: That I am a resident of the State of Idaho and at least eighteen (18) years of age: that every person who signed this sheet of the foregoing petition signed his or her name thereto in my presence:
Conservatives are also pointing to another law (34-1807) that says signatures gathered by someone who is not a resident of Idaho and is not at least 18-years-old are also void.
Any petition upon which signatures are obtained by a person not a resident of the state of Idaho and at least eighteen (18) years of age, shall be void. The definition of resident in section 34-107, Idaho Code, shall apply to the circulators of initiative and referendum petitions. In addition to being a resident, a petition circulator shall be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
The argument from conservatives is that online petitions for ballot initiatives can be shared by anyone. They argue that someone from Colorado for instance could share the petition and how would anyone know that the signatures gathered from their “share” on social media are valid?
The U.S. Supreme court’s decision will ultimately decide the fate of this effort.
If they uphold the effort by either letting the lower court opinion stand or by taking the case and upholding the lower court opinion, then it dramatically changes the ballot initiative process in the future.
Let us know in the comments what you think about the electronic signature-gathering process.
Tags: Ballot Initiative, Electronic Signatures, Reclaim Idaho