19-124. Arguments and analyses on measures; cost; submission at special election
A. The person filing an initiative petition may at the same time file with the secretary of state an argument advocating the measure or constitutional amendment proposed in the petition. Not later than forty-eight days preceding the regular primary election a person may file with the secretary of state an argument advocating or opposing the measure or constitutional amendment proposed in the petition. Not later than forty-eight days preceding the regular primary election a person may file with the secretary of state an argument advocating or opposing any measure with respect to which the referendum has been invoked, or any measure or constitutional amendment referred by the legislature. The secretary of state shall prominently post on its website the dates on which the ballot measure filings are due and the date of the election. Each argument filed shall contain the sworn statement of each person sponsoring it. If the argument is sponsored by an organization, it shall contain the sworn statement of two executive officers of the organization or if sponsored by a political committee it shall contain the sworn statement of the committee's chairman or treasurer. Each argument filed shall also be submitted to the secretary of state in electronic format. Payment of the deposit required by subsection E of this section or reimbursement of the payor constitutes sponsorship of the argument for purposes of this subsection. The person or persons signing the argument shall identify themselves by giving their residence or post office address and a telephone number, which information shall not appear in the publicity pamphlet. Each argument filed pursuant to this subsection shall not exceed three hundred words in length.
B. When the legislature orders the secretary of state to submit to the people a measure or proposed amendment to the constitution at a special election and as soon as is practicable after the legislature orders that submittal, the secretary of state shall prominently post on its website the dates on which the analysis, if any, and the arguments advocating or opposing the measure are due and the date of the election.
C. Not later than sixty days preceding the regular primary election the legislative council, after providing reasonable opportunity for comments by all legislators, shall prepare and file with the secretary of state an impartial analysis of the provisions of each ballot proposal of a measure or proposed amendment. The analysis shall include a description of the measure and shall be written in clear and concise terms avoiding technical terms wherever possible. The analysis may contain background information, including the effect of the measure on existing law, or any legislative enactment suspended by referendum, if the measure or referendum is approved or rejected.
D. The analyses and arguments shall be included in the publicity pamphlet immediately following the measure or amendment to which they refer. Arguments in the affirmative shall be placed first in order, and first among the affirmative or negative arguments shall be placed the arguments filed by the person filing the initiative petition or the person who introduced the measure or constitutional amendment referred. The remaining affirmative and negative arguments shall be placed in the order in which they were filed with the secretary of state.
E. The person filing an argument shall deposit with the secretary of state, at the time of filing, an amount of money as prescribed by the secretary of state for the purpose of offsetting a portion of the proportionate cost of the purchase of the paper and the printing of the argument. The secretary of state shall provide for electronic submittal of deposit payments. If the person filing an argument requests that the argument appear in connection with more than one proposition, a deposit shall be made for each placement requested. No such deposit or payment shall be required for the analyses prepared and filed by the legislative council. Any proportional balance remaining of the deposit, after paying the cost, shall be returned to the depositor.
F. If a measure is submitted at a special election, and time will not permit full compliance with this article, the charter provision or ordinance providing for the special election shall make provision for printing and distribution of the publicity pamphlet.
G. In the case of referendum petitions that are not required to be filed until after the primary election or at a time so close to the primary election that a referendum cannot be certified for the ballot before the deadline for filing ballot arguments pursuant to subsection A of this section, the secretary of state may establish a separate deadline for filing the referendum ballot arguments pursuant to rules adopted by the secretary of state.