Blockbuster Democracy - logo
 

Harder to Access the Ballot in Nevada

September 2, 2009 - 12:45am

The Nevada legislature, in the guise of cleaning up signature gathering, has made it harder to qualify a measure for the ballot. Much harder.

The legislature recently imposed a distribution requirement that forces circulators to collect the signatures of 10 percent of the turnout in the most recent election in each of the state's Congressional districts. This makes the overall number of signatures to qualify an initiative from the ballot is now 60 percent higher -- 97,000 signatures, instead of 59,000, according to the Nevada Secretary of State.

Your blogger is sympathetic to efforts to clean up signature gathering and to make it harder to qualify initiatives -- as long as they are accompanied by measures to open access.  (In particular, the standards for qualifying referendum -- that is, reversals of legislative actions -- should be eased, and time limits on collecting signatures should be lengthened, to make the process less costly). But cleaning up the process involves doing better, more thorough checking of signatures. That's not what Nevada did.