Opponents of the medical marijuana and "Count My Vote" ballot initiatives each launched an extensive attempt to get Utahns to remove their names from the ballot initiatives to prevent them from reaching the November ballot. Our "Political Insiders" mostly say those efforts should be for naught.
In order to get a citizen's initiative on the ballot, backers must get more than 113,000 signatures statewide. Additionally, they must gather signatures equal to 10% of the previous presidential vote in 26 of Utah's 29 Senate districts. Both Count My Vote and the medical marijuana proposal did just that.
However, the Utah Legislature also allows a one-month timeframe for those who signed a petition to remove their name. Groups opposed to the CMV and marijuana proposals used paid staff and volunteers to contact signers to persuade them to remove their names, which could drop the proposals below the needed signatures in a few Senate districts, which would keep them off the ballot. Utah election officials will process those signature removal requests over the next few weeks. The ballot initiatives that meet the requirements for inclusion in November's vote will be certified on June 1.
Our "Political Insiders" mostly say that the effort to get people to remove their names from the initiatives will fall short.
- 64% who responded to our survey say both CMV and medical marijuana will qualify for the ballot
- 10% said CMV will qualify, but the medical marijuana petition will fall short
- 18% said medical marijuana will qualify, but CMV will be left out in the cold.
- Just 8% said both ballot initiatives will fail to qualify for November's ballot
Last week, the Utah Elections office discovered hundreds of signature packets for Count My Vote that Utah County failed to process. Those signatures could prove decisive as opponents of CMV targeted Senate districts in Utah County to prevent the initiative from making the ballot.
The LDS Church, which opposes the medical marijuana initiative, saying they feel the proposal is poorly written and bad policy, issued a 31-point legal critique prior to the signature-removal deadline. Proponents issued a lengthy rebuttal of the Church's stance.
Selected anonymous comments:
It only makes sense that those who signed the marijuana initiative because of their deceptive tactics would want to now have those signatures removed now that it has been exposed.
The Church kills the Marijuana ballot access with the flick of a wrist.
Let the people vote. When you work to deny the people's right to vote on an issue, it makes you resemble a dictatorship and is un-American.
I am confident that ordinary people will overcome entrenched interest groups. If that doesn't happen, I fear for the welfare of our state.
There is so much misinformation in the press due to the opponents of these two initiatives. They are trying to muddy the waters to make them appear deep. Desperation is evident in both opposing camps. They should be voted on. The people (great unwashed) should decide. Cogent arguments accepted. Whining is prohibited.
Now that the lost CMV signature packets have been found, there will be enough signatures for CMV to qualify for the ballot.
The Keep My Voice advocates are hell-bent on not allowing the voice of the people to be heard. How does that line up in any way with the intent of the Constitution and democracy?
A shameful process where opponents get to fight after the deadline. It's like a sucker punch to the champ after winning the fight.
If the Lt. Governor's office can continue to "find" uncounted CMV petition packets it will qualify. The anti-medical marijuana folks were not organized well enough to stop that initiative.
Once again a small minority is trying to squash the voice of the majority.