Organizer of Referendum Petition Campaigns Says They Don’t Have Enough Signatures Yet


A citizen-led organization calling themselves Audit the Swamp has begun gathering signatures to refer three pieces of legislation, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, to the statewide ballot.

They want to block legislation appropriating money to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library project in Medora, excluding lawmaker emails to state agencies from open records requests, and forcing the state Auditor’s office to go begging to a legislative committee for permission to audit.

How is the signature collecting going?

Riley Kuntz, the chief organizer of the effort, wouldn’t tell me how many signatures they’ve collected so far. “Not enough,” he said when I spoke with him by phone yesterday.

The timeline for collecting signatures is short. Each petition needs 13,452 signatures. The petitions for the email and library legislation have to be in by July 25, while the auditor petition has to be in by the 31st.

“People are telling me they’ve got an 85 to¬† 90 percent sign rate,” Kuntz told me, referring to those collecting signatures.

“The library is pulling in the most signatures,” he added, but said the other two petitions are “close behind.”

Why is the library the most popular?

“It’s “an easier topic to talk about,” Kuntz said.