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6 LONG TITLE
7 General Description:
8 This bill establishes uniform standards for signature verification on initiative petitions.
9 Highlighted Provisions:
10 This bill:
11 . establishes uniform standards for determining whether a signer's signature on an
12 initiative petition is valid or not; and
13 . provides for the placement of birth date information on initiative petitions.
14 Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
16 Other Special Clauses:
18 Utah Code Sections Affected:
20 20A-7-203, as last amended by Chapter 90, Laws of Utah 2004
21 20A-7-206, as last amended by Chapter 3, Laws of Utah 2000
23 20A-7-206.3, Utah Code Annotated 1953
25 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
26 Section 1. Section 20A-7-203 is amended to read:
27 20A-7-203. Form of initiative petition and signature sheets.
28 (1) (a) Each proposed initiative petition shall be printed in substantially the following
30 "INITIATIVE PETITION To the Honorable ____, Lieutenant Governor:
31 We, the undersigned citizens of Utah, respectfully demand that the following proposed
32 law be submitted to the legal voters/Legislature of Utah for their/its approval or rejection at the
33 regular general election/session to be held/ beginning on _________(month\day\year);
34 Each signer says:
35 I have personally signed this petition;
36 I am registered to vote in Utah or intend to become registered to vote in Utah before the
37 certification of the petition names by the county clerk; and
38 My residence and post office address are written correctly after my name.
39 NOTICE TO SIGNERS:
40 Public hearings to discuss this petition were held at: (list dates and locations of public
42 (b) The sponsors of an initiative shall attach a copy of the proposed law to each
43 initiative petition.
44 (2) Each signature sheet shall:
45 (a) be printed on sheets of paper 8-1/2 inches long and 11 inches wide;
46 (b) be ruled with a horizontal line 3/4 inch from the top, with the space above that line
47 blank for the purpose of binding;
48 (c) contain the title of the initiative printed below the horizontal line;
49 (d) contain the word "Warning" printed or typed at the top of each signature sheet
50 under the title of the initiative;
51 (e) contain, to the right of the word "Warning," the following statement printed or
52 typed in not less than eight-point, single leaded type:
53 "It is a class A misdemeanor for anyone to sign any initiative petition with any other
54 name than his own, or knowingly to sign his name more than once for the same measure, or to
55 sign an initiative petition when he knows he is not a registered voter and knows that he does
56 not intend to become registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the
57 county clerk."; and
58 (f) be vertically divided into columns as follows:
59 (i) the first column shall appear at the extreme left of the sheet, be 5/8 inch wide, be
60 headed with "For Office Use Only," and be subdivided with a light vertical line down the
61 middle with the left subdivision entitled "Registered" and the right subdivision left untitled;
62 (ii) the next column shall be [
63 Printed Name (must be legible to be counted)";
64 (iii) the next column shall be [
65 Registered Voter"; [
66 (iv) the next column shall be one inch wide, headed "Birth Date"; and
69 (3) The final page of each initiative packet shall contain the following printed or typed
72 State of Utah, County of ____
73 I, _______________, of ____, hereby state that:
74 I am a resident of Utah and am at least 18 years old;
75 All the names that appear in this packet were signed by persons who professed to be the
76 persons whose names appear in it, and each of them signed his name on it in my presence;
77 I believe that each has printed and signed his name and written his post office address
78 and residence correctly, and that each signer is registered to vote in Utah or intends to become
79 registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the county clerk.
80 I have not paid or given anything of value to any person who signed this petition to
81 encourage that person to sign it.
83 (Name) (Residence Address) (Date)"
84 (4) The forms prescribed in this section are not mandatory, and, if substantially
85 followed, the initiative petitions are sufficient, notwithstanding clerical and merely technical
87 Section 2. Section 20A-7-206 is amended to read:
88 20A-7-206. Submitting the initiative petition -- Certification of signatures by the
89 county clerks -- Transfer to lieutenant governor.
90 (1) In order to qualify an initiative petition for placement on the regular general
91 election ballot, the sponsors shall deliver each signed and verified initiative packet to the
92 county clerk of the county in which the packet was circulated by the June 1 before the regular
93 general election.
94 (2) No later than June 15 before the regular general election, the county clerk shall:
95 (a) check the names of all persons completing the verification for the initiative packet
96 to determine whether or not those persons are residents of Utah and are at least 18 years old;
98 (b) submit the name of each of those persons who is not a Utah resident or who is not
99 at least 18 years old to the attorney general and county attorney.
100 (3) No later than July 1 before the regular general election, the county clerk shall:
101 (a) [
102 whether or not [
103 20A-7-206.3 ;
104 (b) certify on the petition whether or not each name is that of a registered voter; and
105 (c) deliver all of the packets to the lieutenant governor.
106 (4) In order to qualify an initiative petition for submission to the Legislature, the
107 sponsors shall deliver each signed and verified initiative packet to the county clerk of the
108 county in which the packet was circulated by the November 15 before the annual general
109 session of the Legislature.
110 (5) No later than December 1 before the annual general session of the Legislature, the
111 county clerk shall:
112 (a) check the names of all persons completing the verification for the initiative packet
113 to determine whether or not those persons are Utah residents and are at least 18 years old; and
114 (b) submit the name of each of those persons who is not a Utah resident or who is not
115 at least 18 years old to the attorney general and county attorney.
116 (6) No later than December 15 before the annual general session of the Legislature, the
117 county clerk shall:
118 (a) [
119 whether or not [
120 20A-7-206.3 ;
121 (b) certify on the petition whether or not each name is that of a registered voter; and
122 (c) deliver all of the packets to the lieutenant governor.
123 (7) Initiative packets are public once they are delivered to the county clerks.
124 (8) The sponsor or their representatives may not retrieve initiative packets from the
125 county clerks once they have submitted them.
126 Section 3. Section 20A-7-206.3 is enacted to read:
127 20A-7-206.3. Verification of petition signatures.
128 (1) (a) For the purposes of this section, "substantially similar name" means:
129 (i) the given name and surname shown on the petition, or both, contain only minor
130 spelling differences when compared to the given name and surname shown on the official
132 (ii) the surname shown on the petition exactly matches the surname shown on the
133 official register, and the given names differ only because one of the given names shown is a
134 commonly used abbreviation or variation of the other;
135 (iii) the surname shown on the petition exactly matches the surname shown on the
136 official register, and the given names differ only because one of the given names shown is
137 accompanied by a first or middle initial or a middle name which is not shown on the other
138 record; or
139 (iv) the surname shown on the petition exactly matches the surname shown on the
140 official register, and the given names differ only because one of the given names shown is an
141 alphabetically corresponding initial that has been provided in the place of a given name shown
142 on the other record.
143 (b) For the purposes of this section, "substantially similar name" does not mean a
144 name having an initial or a middle name shown on the petition that does not match a different
145 initial or middle name shown on the official register.
146 (2) The county clerk shall use the following procedures in determining whether or not a
147 signer is a registered voter:
148 (a) When a signer's name and address shown on the petition exactly match a name and
149 address shown on the official register, the county clerk shall declare the signature valid.
150 (b) When there is no exact match of an address and a name, the county clerk shall
151 declare the signature valid if the address on the petition matches the address of a person on the
152 official register with a substantially similar name.
153 (c) When there is no match of an address and a substantially similar name, the county
154 clerk shall declare the signature valid if the birth date on the petition matches the birth date of a
155 person on the official register with a substantially similar name.
156 (d) If a signature is not declared valid under Subsection (2)(a), (2)(b), or (2)(c), the
157 county clerk shall declare the signature to be invalid.
Legislative Review Note
as of 12-7-04 8:42 AM
Based on a limited legal review, this legislation has not been determined to have a high
probability of being held unconstitutional.
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel
Interim Committee Note
as of 12-08-04 10:24 AM
The Government Operations Interim Committee recommended this bill.
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