Utah’s Lt. Governor is defending the law that allows voters to remove signatures from a citizen referendum petition. In a new court filing before the Utah Supreme Court, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox pushed back on Count My Vote’s request to strike down a portion of election law dealing with signature removal. Count My Vote, which would allow political candidates to gather signatures and skip the caucus-convention system that political parties prefer, failed to qualify for the November ballot after enough voters removed their signatures following an opposition campaign by a rival group called Keep My Voice.
Count My Vote has argued that it’s very tough to get signatures on the ballot, but too easy to remove them. In its filing, the Utah Attorney General’s Office, which represents Lt. Gov. Cox, defended the law and told the Court that Count My Vote was the only one that failed to qualify.
“If semantics and statistics have objective meaning, a threshold that 75 percent of initiative sponsors cleared this year cannot fairly be called unduly burdensome,” Utah Solicitor General Tyler Green wrote. “But CMV still tries. It even uses the Medical Cannabis initiative as an example. Like CMV’s initiative, the Medical Cannabis initiative faced organized opposition and signature removals. Yet it qualified for the ballot.”