Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1100 (Low-D) into law. EffectiveJanuary 1, 2016, citizens who wish to submit a ballot initiative or referendum must pay $2,000, instead of the current fee of $200.

Direct democracy is a citizen’s right – a cornerstone of the checks and balances of democracy that have been protected passionately in California. Raising the fee by 900 percent is cost prohibitive.

The ballot initiative process engages voters and increases interest and participation in elections. The intent of this extraordinary fee increase was to deter frivolous filings, but with this new $2,000 charge, the freedom and balance of powers that California’s early Reformers established are slowly being eroded away. 

This exponential fee increase will rob ordinary Californians from getting their ideas on the ballot and reserve that privilege only to the state’s elite political class.

Elected officials should increase voter participation, not discourage it.