Runner Drops Lawsuit Against Attorney General
Jerry Brown amends title and summary for ballot initiative.
State Senator George Runner has dropped a lawsuit against California Attorney General Jerry Brown, after Brown revised the title and summary for Runner's voter ID ballot initiative.
Earlier this year, Runner submitted the Vote SAFE initiative, which would require voters to produce photo identification at the polls. All those who did not provide identification would be allowed to submit a provisional ballot.
While the California Constitution requires the attorney general to write fair and balanced title and summaries, Runner claimed that the summary crafted by Brown's office was "politically tilted" and "factually incorrect."
Brown's title and summary originally read:
Limits On Voting. Initiative Statute.
Prohibits citizens from voting at the polls, unless they present a government-issued photo identification card. Establishes provisional voting for citizens at the polls who fail to present government issued photo-identification card.
Runner sued Brown to get the name changed; however the suit was dropped after he announced that he is, for the most part, happy with the most recent alteration.
"Brown's latest attempt at the title and summary for the Vote SAFE initiative is materially more accurate than the prior version," Runner said. "It's not perfect, but we believe we can move forward with the language in all but one respect."
Runner plans to re-submit the initiative this week to the attorney general in an effort to bring clarity to one of the initiative's provisions, which would allow the county registrar of voters 15 additional days to count absentee ballots of military personnel stationed outside California.
"It's important that California voters have a clear understanding of this important provision, "Runner said. "I am sure there isn't a voter who doesn't want to make sure every soldier's vote is counted."
Runner said the new filing means the initiative will be ready for signature gathering in February, which means fewer days to qualify for the November 2010 ballot.
"There is a risk that we will be a little too late for the gubernatorial election," Runner said. "But qualifying for the 2012 election may not be a bad alternative when you consider how crowded the ballot might be in November 2010 with initiatives - as it is there are more than 40 initiatives on the streets now for signatures."