Idaho currently has some of the most restrictive rules in the country when it comes to ballot initiatives. In addition to collecting signatures from 6% of all registered voters in the state, an initiative campaign must also collect signatures from 6% in each of 18 legislative districts.
It's extremely difficult to qualify an initiative in Idaho, and Senator Vick's bill would make it much, much harder. The bill requires signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 of Idaho's legislative districts.
Let's be clear: This is a thinly veiled assault on our initiative rights.
In the coming days, we will hear Senator Vick and his allies falsely claim that rural communities don't have a voice in our initiative process. What is their proof? Our Medicaid Expansion initiative--the only Idaho initiative to be enacted in the past 18 years--received signatures from all 44 counties. Our entire campaign began in Bonner County and we were eventually joined by passionate teams of volunteers in rural communities across the state.
And don't forget: Medicaid Expansion won on Election Day with a majority of voters in 35 of Idaho's 44 counties, including dozens of rural counties.
The truth is that Senator Vick's bill has nothing to do with rural voters. It's an attempt to silence the will of the people, plain and simple.
It’s time to remind our legislators that the ballot initiative is a right that is guaranteed by Idaho’s constitution, and that we will not sit back quietly while they work behind closed doors to revoke our rights.
Here's our call to action: Email members of the Senate State Affairs Committee and politely request that they kill this bill. Here are a few key points to share:
Senator Vick's bill will make it virtually impossible for any grassroots campaign ever to qualify another initiative for the ballot
The bill amounts to an attempt to revoke one of our most cherished constitutional rights
Tell them why the ballot-initiative process is important to you
Here are the key members of the Senate State Affairs Committee who need to hear from you:
Senator Jim Guthrie (McCammon): JGuthrie@senate.idaho.gov
Senator Chuck Winder (Boise): CWinder@senate.idaho.gov
Senator Kelly Arthur Anthon (Burley): KAnthon@senate.idaho.gov
Senator Abby Lee (Fruitland): ALee@senate.idaho.gov
Senator Lee Heider (Twin Falls): LHeider@senate.idaho.gov
Senate Patti Anne Lodge (Caldwell): PALodge@senate.idaho.gov