Signatures would have to represent more of Alaska to get Initiative on ballot
May 11, 2004
The Alaska Constitution requires people who want to get an initiative on the ballot to collect at least one signature from each of two-thirds of State House districts; and the total minimum number of signatures must equal at least ten percent of the number of people who voted in the most recent general election. Representative Williams' legislation (House Joint Resolution 5) would require initiative supporters to get signatures from voters in at least three-quarters of House districts (30 districts). In addition, to ensure that the idea has meaningful support, the number of signatures gathered in each of these thirty districts must be at least seven percent of the number of people who voted in the most recent general election.
"This amendment would guarantee that petitions for initiatives and referendums in our state get support from all around Alaska. It ensures that initiatives on the ballot are not regionalized, but represent all Alaskans and their interests," Representative Williams said. "This amendment will strengthen Alaskans' important constitutional right to use the initiative process." HJR 5 passed the House by a vote of 27 to 13, and passed the Senate by a vote of 17 to 3. It was endorsed by a wide range of organizations from all over the state, including the Alaska Outdoor Council, the Alaska Miners' Association, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska League of Women Voters. It will become a constitutional amendment if approved by a majority of voters at the statewide election on November 2nd.
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