BOISE—The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho sent a letter to Governor Brad Little asking him to veto SB 1110, legislation that would restrict Idaho’s voter ballot initiative and referendum process by requiring signatures from 6% of eligible voters from each of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts.
“Idahoans have a constitutional right to initiate legislation independent from the legislature,” said Lauren Bramwell, ACLU of Idaho Policy Strategist. “This bill undermines that right, and will result in costly litigation.”
Idaho’s ballot initiative process is already onerous, as demonstrated by the few initiatives that have ultimately made it on the ballot since the 1930s. This bill would make it almost impossible to qualify either an initiative or a referendum on the ballot. While some states have enacted laws requiring initiative proponents to gather signatures from each congressional district, SB 1110 would make Idaho the first state to require such a high signature percentage from each legislative district.
In 2019, Governor Little exercised veto power on a similar piece of legislation that hampered the ballot initiative process citing to constitutional concerns and unintended consequences of the bill’s passage. The ACLU urges the Governor to once again use his veto power. “For the same reasons you vetoed SB 1159, you should also veto SB 1110.”