Reclaim Idaho files lawsuit over restrictive voter initiative bill
By Ruth Brown, Idaho Reports
Reclaim Idaho, on Friday filed a lawsuit in the Idaho Supreme Court to strike down Idaho’s recently enacted anti-ballot initiative law.
Reclaim Idaho is the organization responsible for getting a Medicaid Expansion initiative on the ballot, which citizens did overwhelmingly support.
The Committee to Protect and Preserve the Idaho Constitution—a committee of Idaho lawyers—is serving as a plaintiff in the case with Reclaim Idaho, according to a Reclaim Idaho press release.
The law, signed by Gov. Brad Little on April 17, requires ballot-initiative campaigns to collect signatures from at least 6% of registered voters in each of Idaho’s 35 state legislative districts. That’s up from the 18 districts previously required.
Reclaim Idaho says the new anti-initiatives law violates the fundamental right of Idaho citizens to propose or reject legislation. The anti-initiatives law gives Idaho the most restrictive signature requirements in the nation, making it virtually impossible for grassroots organizations to qualify initiatives and referendums for the ballot, according to Reclaim Idaho.
Of the 24 states with ballot measures, no other state requires a large number of signatures from all state-legislative districts.
“Last month, the Idaho Legislature and Governor Brad Little snatched away one of our most fundamental rights—a right enshrined in our Constitution over 100 years ago,” said Reclaim Idaho co-founder Luke Mayville in a press release. “We’re filing this lawsuit on behalf of the people of Idaho, and we believe we will prevail.”