Monday at 5 pm is the deadline for backers of the ballot initiatives aiming for a spot on the November ballot to turn in the 113,000 signatures they need to qualify.
According to the latest verified signature numbers from the Utah Elections Office, the proposal to legalize medical marijuana is closest to securing a spot, with more than 139,000 signatures.
But the sheer number of signatures is not enough to qualify on its own. Each proposal must also secure signatures equal to 10% of the vote in the last presidential election in 26 of Utah's 29 Senate Districts.
So far, the medical cannabis proposal has hit that mark in 24 Senate Districts. They need just 90 more signatures in one district and 646 in another to cross the finish line.
Our polling shows 77% of Utahns support legalizing medical cannabis. However, Gov. Gary Herbert and the LDS Church have both recently voiced opposition to the proposal, so it will be fascinating to see if that sways public opinion.
Count My Vote, which aims to cement the dual-track nomination system, has hit the 10% threshold in 13 districts so far. Organizers tell UtahPolicy.com that they have enough internally verified signatures to easily make November's ballot.
Nearly 2/3rds of Utahns support the Count My Vote proposal according to our most recent polling.
The "Better Boundaries" effort, which seeks to establish an independent redistricting commission to re-draw Utah's political boundaries, has reached the 10% mark in six districts and has more than 87,000 verified signatures. However, nearly a third of those signatures have come from three heavily Democratic areas.
58% of Utahns say they support the Better Boundaries proposal according to our most recent poll about the ballot initiative, but nearly 1/4 do not have an opinion about the proposal.
Better Boundaries organizers tell UtahPolicy.com they are confident they have enough signatures to qualify for November's ballot.
The initiative to have Utah take full Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is on the shakiest ground, having hit the 10% requirement in just five districts. Organizers have turned in just over 75,000 signatures so far.
The Utah Legislature passed a more modest Medicaid expansion during the 2018 session which ended in March. That proposal covers fewer people and will only go into effect if the state can secure waivers from the Trump administration.
61% of Utahns support the full Medicaid expansion under the "Utah Decides Healthcare Act."
Two ballot proposals have fallen by the wayside so far.
Backers of "Our Schools Now," which sought to dramatically boost school funding through a sales and income tax hike, cut a deal with lawmakers to drop their signature-gathering effort in exchange for a change in property taxes and placing a non-binding question on November's ballot to boost gas taxes to provide more school funds.
Keep My Voice organizers, who hoped to eliminate the signature-gathering path for political candidates, announced on Friday they would not be turning in any signatures this year but would try to re-launch their effort in 2020.
The number of signatures election officials can verify should increase rapidly over the next week as signature verification for candidates has mostly ended.