On May 28, the California State Senate passed SB 1203, which requires paid initiative circulators to wear a badge. The badge must say in 30-point font, “Paid Signature Gatherer”. The badge must also say the name of the county in California in which the petitioner is registered to vote, and if the circulator is not registered, it must say, “Not Registered to Vote.” The vote in the Senate was 22-5.
The bill, if enacted, would probably be held unconstitutional. The 9th circuit ruled in WIN v Warheit, 213 F 3d. 1132 (2000), that a Washington state law, requiring the address of each paid circulator to be listed in periodic reports to a public agency, is unconstitutional. The Court noted the evidence that some circulators refused to work, rather than have their addresses be made available to the public.
The bill also seems to assume that all circulators are California residents. But the 9th circuit ruled in 2008 that requiring circulators to live in the state in which they are working is also unconstitutional. Nader v Brewer, 531 F.3d 1028. Arizona asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule that ruling, but the Court declined. Thanks to Jack Dean for this news.