Signature Gathering

The Eighth Circuit reversed a decision that enjoined the Arkansas Secretary of State from enforcing the state’s initiative petition rules, which require in-person signatures and notarizations. A group of voters argued the rules violate their First Amendment rights and endanger people due to Covid-19, but the signature requirement does not impose “severe burdens” and the notarization requirement has no effect on the “communication of ideas associated with petition circulation.”

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Ballot Access

The Sixth Circuit denied Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a stay pending appeal of a case relating to ballot signature requirements. Proponents of a criminal justice reform initiative say the combination of the governor’s stay-at-home order and the signature requirements create an unconstitutionally severe restriction on their access to the ballot. 

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