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Governor Gavin Newsom’s March 19th order has thwarted all non-essential public contact. That includes signature gatherers who help get measures on the ballot when we vote. These measures often impact housing laws, small business, and homeless services.
Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that even before the ban, it was hard to get people to sign. Fred Kimball who owns a company that runs petitions across the state, told the Chronicle that “These are tough times and you have to get creative.”
For him that meant buying some 300,000 pens so everyone who wanted to sign could have their own. Now, with the shelter in place in full force, collecting signatures is a thing of the past.
The official deadline for qualifying initiatives is June 25, but the real deadline is much earlier since counties need several weeks to count and verify those signatures. Whether the state has plans to relax the laws in light of current circumstances remains to be seen.