Some Lawmakers Trying To Undo Voting Measures They Passed

January 17, 2014

Some state lawmakers are moving to repeal major parts of the voting laws they approved last year in a way that would thwart a referendum drive that kept the changes from taking effect.

The measure sought to increase signature requirements to get minor parties on the ballot, impose tougher requirements on groups sponsoring initiatives, and limit use of early ballots.

Opponents stopped the changes by collecting the signatures needed to put them before voters this November.

Now, state Rep. Eddie Farnsworth wants to repeal the election law changes effectively undoing the pending referendum, something that doesn't sit very well with Robbie Sherwood, spokesman for the coalition that put the measure on the ballot.

“We think it is a cynical attempt to try to get around our referendum to do a repeal and come back piecemeal with the elements of the bill one at a time," Sherwood said. "We won't take that lying down.”

Farnsworth concedes he does want to re-enact parts of the measure, like making the permanent early voting list a little less permanent, but he says there’s no effort to just re-enact everything once the referendum is dead.

If the repeal succeeds and provisions are re-enacted, opponents would have to start over with a new petition drive.