Ban of Paid Signatures Upheld

Margaret Olney helped draft Measure 26, a ballot measure that bans the practice of paying per signature for initiative and referendum petitions. After it was approved by the voters, Margaret represented Chief Petitioners (as Intervenors) in a lawsuit by opponents claiming the measure unconstitutionally chilled political speech. The U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit rejected the challenge, finding that the restriction was a reasonable election law regulation that furthered the state’s important interest in preventing fraud. The case set an important precedent for other states seeking to curb fraud in the initiative process.