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Wyoming Secretary of State Certifies Ballot Initiative

Courtesy: Wyoming Secretary of State's Office
Courtesy: Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray has certified a ballot initiative being put forward by the “Wyoming Promise” organization.

The Wyoming ballot initiative is part of a national effort to pass a federal constitutional amendment to overturn the “Citizen’s United vs FEC” U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Critics of the decision say it allows corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to exert undue influence on American elections through campaign communications that are separate from candidate campaigns. The organization that filed the lawsuit, Citizens United, wanted to advertise a film critical of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2008 campaign.

The high court ruled in favor of the group in 2010.

The certification doesn’t mean the proposal will automatically go before voters, but it does clear the way for supporters of the initiative to begin collecting the signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot. Murray notes the supporters of the proposal submitted a list of 216 sponsors of the initiative to his office.

They now have 18 months to collect the signatures of voters equalling at least 15 percent of the of the total number of votes cast in the 2016 general election. Murray says that comes out to 38,818 signatures.

But additional guidelines also require the signatures to be obtained from 15 percent of the voters in at least 16 of the state’s 23 counties.If that criteria is met the proposal will go before state voters on the 2018 General Election ballot.

Secretary of State Murray says his office has a policy of strict neutrality on ballot initiatives.

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