Idaho Citizen Initiatives Bill Doesn’t Get Warm Welcome
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Farm Bureau got an earful from foes of its proposal to make it tougher to get citizen initiatives on the ballot on the first day of debate. Friday’s Senate State Affairs Committee hearing will be followed by more discussion, planned for Monday.
Now, it takes signatures from 6 percent of voters statewide to get initiatives on the ballot. The Farm Bureau aims to require signatures from 6 percent of residents in 18 of Idaho’s 35 legislative districts, on grounds the current system favors populated, urban areas over rural Idaho.
Monica Hopkins, American Civil Liberties Union director, argued the change places a higher value on voting rights of people in rural areas, violating the U.S. Constitution’s one-person, one-vote principle. The Farm Bureau insists many other states have such geographical requirements.