Did you know that someone in Anchorage can get most of their signatures for a statewide initiative in the Anchorage area alone? Did you also know that to get an idea on the ballot you only need one signature from most voting districts that include cities like Barrow, Nome, Juneau, and even Fairbanks? If you vote yes on Ballot Measure No. 1 you can make the initiative process more democratic and fair for all Alaskans.
Voting yes on Ballot Measure No. 1 gives smaller towns more of a voice in the initiative process. If this amendment is adopted then you will need more signatures in more voting districts, making it harder for big cities to get ballot measures passed easily. You would still need 10 percent of registered voters (who voted in the last general election) in the state.
Another reason you should vote yes on Ballot Measure No. 1 is it makes it less likely for an initiative to be put on the ballot that is going to lose significantly because over 80 percent of Alaskans vote against it. For example, it will be much more difficult to get the capital move on the ballot if Ballot Measure No. 1 passes.
Some people think that Ballot Measure No. 1 makes it too hard to pass an initiative, but that is wrong. Among the 10 initiatives that have been put on the ballot since 1998, sponsors would only have to gather an average of 935 more signatures statewide to comply with Ballot Measure No. 1. I think that it is easy enough.
Finally, it only requires signatures from as few as 2.4 and at most 6.4 percent of the registered voters in each district.
So, vote yes on Ballot Measure No. 1. Make the initiative process fairer for all Alaskans.
Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.