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Bills Delay Initiative Petition Rulings; Krebs May Announce Tobacco-Tax Petition Status Friday

In 2016, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs was able to plow through eight ballot question petitions by February 4. This year, Secretary Krebs has finished reviewing only two of the eight ballot measure petitions on her desk. What’s the hold-up?

Secretary of State's 2018 bill binder, 2018.02.13.
Secretary of State’s 2018 bill binder, 2018.02.13.

Bills, bills, bills. Deputy Secretary of State Kea Warne told me yesterday that her office is monitoring over 110 bills touching on the Secretary of State’s duties. The binder has everything: voter registration, political parties, notary law, initiative and referendum, elections, concealed carry, and even one funny little bill to deal with a computer glitch in the financial filings systems.

So you could say that, once again, the Republican Legislature is obstructing the initiative process. ;-)

Warne also says the Secretary had more interns available in 2016 to flip through petition sheets two years ago. This year, the Secretary just doesn’t have the people for faster petition review.

But stay tuned: Warne says Mickelson’s tobacco-tax-for-vo-techs petition is close to done. She expects the Secretary will be able to announce the status of that petition Friday. Then Secretary Krebs will turn her attention to the open-primary petition, which sits in a box twice as large as Mickelson’s tax petition. But Warne anticipates the office will be able to speed up processing that petition and the other four the Legislature disposes of more bills.

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