Voters may get the last word on a package of controversial changes to election laws — changes foes say are designed to depress turnout and throw roadblocks in the path of those who want to propose their own laws. A coalition of Democrats and minor parties hopes to gather 86,405 signatures before Sept. 13 to force an election on the provisions of HB 2305.
Key elements of the measure, pushed through by the Republican-controlled Legislature in the last hours of the session, include:
• Sharply boosting signature requirements for minor parties to put their own legislative and congressional candidates on the ballot.
• Limiting who can take someone’s early ballot to a polling place.
• Setting up procedures to stop sending early ballots to voters who have not used them.
• Imposing stricter requirements on citizen groups who are sponsoring initiatives.
The legislation does actually have something that referendum proponents actually support: a provision designed to retroactively keep Attorney General Tom Horne from deciding who gets to investigate campaign finance charges against him.