The process for citizens to put an initiative to vote is onerous. It involves an application, certification, a fiscal impact statement, public hearings, petition packets and then the monster of all projects: legal signatures by what represents 10 percent of the voting public, spread throughout counties across the state. It is not easy or inexpensive to engage citizens and is funded by donations. Those who successfully do so, engaging over 100,000 voters, should be commended for their commitment to democracy.
I don’t understand how, when these obstacles are overcome, and signatures are validated, opposing groups like “Keep My Voice,” Utah Medical Association or Eagle Forum can step in, access those hard-won signatures and start a counter-campaign.
Assuming we think it’s fair that they have a different timeline to work with (Why aren’t they held to the April 15 deadline?), let them start from scratch, canvass, knock on doors and identify signers on their own and convince them to retract their signature.
I bristle at efforts to overthrow the well-articulated process that allows citizens to identify new law, as an alternative to the legislative session. It’s hard, specific, costly and time-consuming — no one should be allowed to just un-do that effort.
Kirsten Park, Salt Lake City