A long-awaited trial is finally underway in Colorado. The law at issue was passed by the state legislature back in 2009. Among other provisions, HB 1326 prohibited paying petition circulators more than 20 percent of their total compensation on a per-signature basis. That's the most common way to pay petition circulators, although it is prohibited in six states besides Colorado. States have sought to restrict paying circulators based on how many signatures they gather because of the worry that such a system may encourage fraudulent behavior on the part of circulators. If more signatures equals more salary, then why not fudge a few? Opponents argue that the logic behind this is flawed, and that such bans make the cost of gathering signatures prohibitively high.
Colorado's pay-per-signature ban was enjoined by a federal judge back in June 2010, and the trial is just now getting underway. Testimony is scheduled to last for eight days over this week and next week, and an opinion would most likely come later in the summer or early fall.
The ban on paying on a per-signature basis is temporarily on hold, pending the outcome of the trial.
Read more in the Denver Post.