In 2010, the Alaska supreme court held that a legally deficient petition summary of a ballot initiative could be corrected and put on the ballot without being recirculated for signatures. The Parental Involvement Initiative at the root of the litigation would prohibit doctors from performing abortions for unemancipated minor women who had not provided notice to or obtained consent from a parent. After the petition was circulated for signatures, the supreme court determined that omissions of fact in the petition summary rendered the summary inaccurate and therefore deficient. However, the court refused to require that the initiative sponsors recirculate the petition with a corrected summary upon a determination that the deficient summary was unlikely to have led to petition-signer inadvertence. This Comment critiques the supreme court’s analysis of petition-signer inadvertence and proposes a more robust standard that advances the policy goals the court has considered when evaluating ballot initiatives.
Melissa English & Daisy Gray, When Misrepresentation Becomes Deceptive: Analyzing Petition-Signer Inadvertence Post-Cambell, 37 Alaska Law Review 271-283 (2020)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol37/iss2/7