Virginia Beach officials won’t tell a group of citizens whether or not they have enough voter signatures to place the city’s proposed light rail project on the ballot for an up-or-down vote. The group, No Light Rail in Virginia Beach, turned in 26,236 signatures, more than enough to reach the requirement of 25 percent of the vote in the “prior” election.

Yet, in a letter, the city’s general registrar announced, “I hereby certify that the number of valid signatures reviewed by this office as of the date of this submission exceeds 25% of the number of votes cast in the 2015 Election but does not exceed 25% of the number of votes cast in the 2014 Election.”

A City Council committee Monday approved allowing more time to gather signatures for a recall election and widening the window during which a special election would be held.

The recommendations green-lighted by the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee and sent to the City Council for its consideration are part of a larger effort to streamline the recall process, stemming from last year’s effort to remove then-Mayor Bob Filner from office.

“This is something we’ve been cleaning up over the last year bit-by-bit,” Councilman Mark Kersey said. The Filner recall effort revealed “inconsistencies in the city’s own rules,” he said.

Just one California

Mon, Sep 15 2014 by Neal Hobson

It seems for now, California will have to stay as a singular state.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper’s multi-million dollar “Six Californias” initiative failed to gather enough valid signatures, according to the California Secretary of State. The initiative would have begun the process to create six separate states out of California, giving 38 million Californians new, smaller state governments and economies.

Draper contests the findings of the Secretary of State, however. 

“Six Californias collected more than enough signatures to place the initiative on the November 2016 ballot and we are confident that a full check of the signatures would confirm that fact,” said Draper in a statement.

The effort to force Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz into a recall election failed to gather enough signatures.

It was always a long shot, given that roughly 82,400 signatures were required. By contrast, it takes only about 14,000 signatures to propose legislation in Albuquerque through a petition initiative.

George Richmond, who describes himself as a good-government activist, said he collected fewer than 5,000 signatures.

He did succeed, of course, in calling attention to problems within the treasurer’s office.

Read More: here

A petition initiative to increase the minimum wage in Nebraska has met the qualifications to be voted on during the general election. Secretary of State John Gale says enough verified signatures have been submitted to add the issue to the ballot in November.

At least 80,386 signatures were required to add the petition initiative to the ballot. At least five percent of those who signed had to come from 38 of the state’s 93 counties. “In this case, 89,817 signatures were verified which was more than enough to meet the threshold,” explained Gale.

Read More: here

More than 69,000 additional signatures supporting the increase were delivered to the capitol building Monday.  That’s about 7,000 signatures more than needed to make it to the November ballot.

The proposal would raise Arkansas’ minimum hourly pay from $6.25 an hour to $7.50 on January first next year.  Then it goes to $8.00 flat in 2016 and up to $8.50 in 2017.

After failing in Albuquerque, two groups promoting a ballot initiative to reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana appear likely to succeed in Santa Fe.

City Clerk Yolanda Vigil said Wednesday that ProgressNow New Mexico and Drug Policy Alliance are “extremely close” to getting the required number of valid petition signatures to force a vote on the issue.

The groups came up short in their initial attempt to get the initiative on the November general election ballot when they submitted 7,126 signatures July 15. Only 3,569 of those signatures were found to be valid, and the groups need at least 5,673 signatures from registered voters in the city to qualify.

Oklahomans for Health must submit their initiative petition on medical marijuana to the Oklahoma Secretary of State by Friday. The group said late last week it had 120,000 of the 156,000 signatures to bring the initiative to a vote of the people.

The group claims to have registered a “record number” of new voters while gathering signatures.

Read More: here

On Monday, six additional initiative petitions were submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State for signature validation. 

However, four of those petitions are already being withdrawn after Governor John Hickenlooper and US Congressman Jared Polis, supporting of two measures “to restrict oil and gas operations,” reached an agreement with supporters of two industry-backed measures. The agreement means that all four initiatives concerning regulation of the oil and natural gas industries will not go on the ballot.

Proponents for six ballot initiatives submitted petitions to the Colorado secretary of state Monday — the final day petitioners could submit them — though four of the measures could be retracted following announcements by Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

Hickenlooper and Polis on Monday morning dropped their support of two initiatives meant to restrict oil and gas operations and asked that two initiatives supporting the industry be rescinded as well. The Democrats proposed that instead, a panel of experts develop ideas for the state legislature in hopes of creating future legislation.

The signatures for all six initiatives were submitted by organizers who hope to have their proposals added as ballot measures for the November election.

Michigan’s State Board of Canvassers voted not to certify an initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage for placement on this November’s election ballot.

The group Raise Michigan turned in 318,425 signatures on petitions, needing 258,088 to be verified as those of registered voters in the Wolverine State.  The group just edged over that goal under the scrutiny of the Secretary of State’s office with 259,756 verified signatures, just 1,578 more than necessary.

By a 3-1 vote, the state Board of Canvassers failed to certify a petition that would put the issue of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour on the November ballot.

Three members — Chairwoman Colleen Pero and Norm Shinkle, both Republican appointees, and Jeannette Bradshaw, a Democratic appointee — voted against certification because they said it fell about 3,900 signatures short of the required number to qualify for the ballot.

That determination came after a challenge to the petition, which was turned in Wednesday — the deadline for challenges was July 11 — found enough duplicate signatures in the petition to knock it off the ballot.

Supporters of two ballot initiatives spent the last week gathering signatures at the North Dakota State Fair.

The Minot Daily News reports ( that petitions were circulated for one measure requiring North Dakota schools to start after labor day and another measure that would establish a trust fund for water, wildlife and parks projects.

The deadline to get an issue on the November ballot is Aug. 6.

Read More: here

Colorado campaigners have secured enough signatures to get two initiatives that would place restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state on the November ballot.

The measures need 86,105 signatures by Aug. 4, and Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy said it has well surpassed that mark. The effort, bankrolled in part by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has roiled Colorado politics, where sitting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall are both trying to win re-election.

An initiative seeking to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot, the state said on its website on Tuesday.

Only two U.S. states, Washington and Colorado, currently allow recreational marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Oregon’s proposal will come before voters just two years after they rejected a similar measure.

“This is a moment we’ve been waiting for, that we’ve worked months to get to,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for the campaign in favor of the Oregon initiative. Since 2012, when voters turned down a similar measure, public support has grown for legalized marijuana in the Pacific Northwest state, he said.