Utah initiative signature deadline passed on February 18

The deadline for submitting signatures for a direct initiative to qualify for the 2020 ballot in Utah passed on February 18, 2020. The deadline for indirect initiatives was November 15, 2019.

Proponents of a carbon tax measure and a term limits measure had been circulating petitions. Neither group reached the signature requirement to qualify for the 2020 ballot. To qualify for the ballot, 115,869 valid signatures were required. Before 2020, the deadline for direct citizen initiative signatures was April 15 instead of February 15. Since February 15 was a Saturday in 2020, signatures were due on the next business day (February 18).

Clean the Darn Air, sponsors of the carbon tax initiative, announced in November 2019 that they would target a future ballot instead of the 2020 ballot after they had “not been able to get a major donation or other game-changing development” to help them reach the 2020 ballot. They had collected 27,651 valid signatures. The measure would have established a carbon tax and eliminated the state sales tax on food and residential and commercial fuel.

Unite for Term Limits, sponsors of the term limits initiative, had collected 858 valid signatures. The measure would have established term limits of 12 consecutive years for state legislators and eight consecutive years for executive officers (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, and state treasurer).

A veto referendum filed against Utah Senate Bill 2001 qualified for the ballot but will not appear on the ballot since the state legislature repealed the targeted bill. The state legislature may refer constitutional amendments to the 2020 ballot during its legislative session, which is set to run until March 12, 2020.

From 1995 to 2018, an average of four measures appeared on the ballot for even-year elections in Utah, of which 86.5% were approved by voters. In 2018, there were three citizen initiatives on the ballot. Before 2018, Utah voters last decided a veto referendum in 2007 and last decided a ballot initiative in 2004.

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