109 Iowa L. Rev. 885 (2024)



Direct democracy processes facilitate the use of citizen initiatives to affect a change in governing law without the intervention of elected representatives. Since initiative measures became popular in the early twentieth century, regulations designed to insulate the political mechanisms from fraud and undue influences have become commonplace. Many regulations impose a requirement that petition circulators be residents of the state wherein they circulate materials, but several circuit courts have found such regulations to be an unconstitutional burden on political speech. In response, some states have abandoned their residency requirements in favor of a consent-to-jurisdiction approach that only requires would-be circulators to agree to be subject to the state’s jurisdiction if any issues arise. This Note advocates for the broad adoption of a third approach: a requirement that petition circulator groups only accept funding from in-state sources. An in-state funding system more appropriately addresses the competing concerns of the state and citizens by insulating the government from outside moneyed special interest groups without imposing a substantial burden on political speech.

Monday, January 15, 2024