In Oregon, the Secretary of State and certain other state executive officials may sponsor bills. Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is sponsoring HB 2082, which has its first hearing in the House Elections Committee on February 14. The bill makes these changes: (1) no one but a signer can add the signer’s printed name and address to the petition; (2) for initiatives, no photocopies of the petition are permitted; every sheet must come from the Secretary of State’s office, and each sheet has a unique page number; (3) no one can circulate an initiative without first taking government-sponsored training; (4) the chief petitioner must submit a list of all the circulators; signatures collected by somone not on the list are void.
Ironically, these changes tend to be most damaging to grass-roots volunteer petition drives, rather than to petition drives circulated by professional signature-gathering companies. The rule requiring that all sheets be issued by the Secretary of State is especially damaging for those would would use the internet to get petition sheets into the hands of many people quickly and cheaply.