SALT LAKE CITY — A number of initiatives are facing an April 16 deadline to qualify to get before voters on the November ballot.
When asked how many signatures they’ve gathered, some campaigns have declined to say exactly. So FOX 13 filed a public records request with the Utah Lt. Governor’s Office for lists of how many signatures they’ve turned in so far. Most of the campaigns said they are still gathering signatures and have submitted far more than is in the official tally, waiting for county clerks across Utah to catch up and validate them.
The ballot initiatives need 113,000 signatures in 26 of Utah’s 29 senate districts to qualify. Here’s where they all stand:
- Medical marijuana is far and away the leader, with 151,181 signatures submitted to the state as of Monday afternoon. The Utah Patients Coalition told FOX 13 it has closer to 160,000 signatures and is in the final stages of getting all the necessary ones validated to qualify for the ballot. The Lt. Governor’s Office listed 117,620 validated as of Monday afternoon.
- The Better Boundaries Coalition has submitted 72,864 signatures with 59,421 validated. The ballot initiative for an independent redistricting commission has outsized signatures in Salt Lake City’s two liberal-leaning Senate districts. Utah law requires a threshold of signatures in 26 of Utah’s 29 Senate districts.
- Count My Vote, which lets political candidates gather signatures to qualify for the ballot (and sparked the civil war within the Utah Republican Party) has submitted 66,287 signatures so far with 56,247 validated. Organizers told FOX 13 they have had 140,000 signatures validated and are waiting for county clerks to catch up with what has been submitted.
- Keep My Voice, which would eliminate signature gathering and stick with the caucus/convention system that some GOP members prefer, has yet to submit any signatures to the Lt. Governor’s Office.
- Utah Decides Healthcare, which is pushing for Medicaid expansion in the state, has 51,951 signatures submitted so far. The organization told FOX 13 over the weekend it had collected more than 110,000. The Lt. Governor’s Office said so far, 39,588 had been validated.
- Our Schools Now, which sought a tax hike in Utah to pay for education, has turned in 32,083 signatures. However, the group struck a deal with the Utah State Legislature for a tax bill that kicks more money to teachers and schools and is expected to withdraw its ballot initiative. An opinion question on a gas tax hike appear on the November ballot instead.