Priority Treatment Helped Anti-Redistricting Commission Initiative Qualify

Sponsors of the initiative to modify California’s legislative term limit laws may be wondering what they did to annoy California’s county registrars. Despite filing their petitions with the counties in April, the registrars were unable to complete the signature verification process in time for the measure to qualify for the November 2010 election.

Meanwhile elections officials worked overtime to verify signatures for the Pelosi/Berman initiative to eliminate California’s new Citizens Redistricting Commission. That measure’s qualification was announced at 7:39pm on Thursday (the final day for measures to qualify). Supporters of the term limit measure turned in their petitions to the counties between April 19th and April 22nd, while almost all of the Pelosi/Berman signatures were turned in on May 24th. Yet signatures for the redistricting measure backed by the Speaker of the House (also backed by the former Speaker of the Assembly) were verified before signatures for the term limits proposal.

The Pelosi/Berman measure was not the only measure to jump ahead of the term limits proposal. Seven of the nine initiatives that qualified for the November ballot turned in signatures after term limits proponents (a 10th measure that will appear on the November ballot was put on the ballot by the legislature). The other six proposals verified ahead of the term limits measure were the measure to pass state budgets with a simple majority vote, to repeal business tax laws, to prohibit Sacramento from taking transportation and local government funds to balance the state budget, to fund state parks through a vehicle license fee, to suspend the state’s greenhouse gas law, and to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature to increase fees.

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