The Utah constitution give the citizens of Utah the right to challenge any law passed by the legislature by less than 3/4 vote of the legislature.
Now the legislature over the years has made it more and more difficult for the citizens to overturn laws.
Here is what is required:
Petition must be filed within 5 days of the end of the legislative session (regular or special session). Must have 5 registered voters who have voten in a general election in the last three years.
Once the petition is approved, the law has very specific language on wording, spacing, binding, and that a copy of the law must be in the signature packets (and each packet can only have room for 49 signatures).
Once the packets are printed, then the Lt. Governors office has 5 days to approve and number then and return them to the petitioners.
(keep in mind we are now more than 10 days past the end of the legislative session since a packet is produced for approval from the Lt. Governs office, THEN the printers can start doing more).
You have to state if it’s going to be a volutary effort or a paid effort or both. If you choose all voluntary, you can not pay anyone to collect signatures.
Registered voters MUST sign in person. No electronic or email signatures accepted. they must be on an official packet.
Packets MUST be turned in to the county office 14 days after the first signature, and all packets must be in 40 days after the end of the legislative session.
To put the law on hold until an election:
10% of active voters must sign AND 10% of active voters is 15 or the states 29 countiesl. (threshold right now is 116,000 state wide signatures.) So if you were to get 120k signatures, but only reach 10% in 14 counties, it would fail. If you were to get 10% in 20 counties, but not reach 116k it would fail.
Now why the title?
Utah legislature held a special session Dec 21st and passed a tax reform bill. A bill so bad that Liberals hate it. Conservatives hate it. Libertarians hate it.
A referendum (all voluntary) was started with only donations for printing packets, and volunteers to collect signatures. The volunteers had 30 days (remember the 10 day thing earlier to petiition and get approval?) to collect the signatures.
Yesterday (Jan 21) at 5 pm was the deadline. A couple of statewide grocery chains offered their buildings for tables for people to sign. many businesses offered their locations.
It’s estimated that 152,000 signatures were collected by volunteers, and the threashold was reached in 20 of 29 counties. (remember goal was 116,000 and 15 counties).
Now county offices have 14 days to verify signatures.
Now here is the kicker.
We the people had 40 days to get signatures to challenge the legislature.
In 14 days the names of everyone who signed (and is verified) the petition will be posted on the internet. Opponents then have 45 days (longer than citizens had time to collect) to put pressure on people to fill out a paper saying they really didn’t want to sign).
If after that 45 days, the 116k and 15 counties still is met, the law will be put on hold until Novembers General election.
How’s that for incredible? (the gathering of that man signatures by volunteers in 30 days)