The group Nevadans for Sound government asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday for more time to collect signatures for ballot questions that would repeal the 2003 tax package and prohibit public employees from holding legislative seats.
Joel Hansen of Las Vegas made the request on behalf of George Harris, head of the anti-tax group, saying interference and harassment by officials prevented volunteers from collecting petition signatures on public property throughout the state.
He said signature gatherers were repeatedly thrown off Department of Motor Vehicles property, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus and the Citifare bus complex in Reno.
He said there is a pattern of harassment that clearly violates Nevada law, which permits signature gathering for political causes on public property. He said without an extension, the "Ax the Tax" petition to repeal the $833 million tax package won't have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot by its deadline Tuesday.
And he said it's doubtful the petition to ask that voters bar public employees from legislative office would get enough names, although its deadline is June 15.
"This has been going on for months," said Hansen. "They're violating the law and our constitutional rights. We won't have those rights if we let these bureaucrats take them away from us."
He was joined by Janine Hansen of Sparks who was arrested after refusing to leave the Citifare center late last week.
"We've had to spend so much time to secure our rights, it's set us back at least 60 days," she said.
The two said the petition not only asks for an extension but asks the Supreme Court to order public entities to stop interfering with petition gathering and to follow state law.
"They should be arrested," said Joel Hansen. "It's a gross misdemeanor to interfere with the gathering of petitions."
He said he requested the high court hear the petition as an emergency because the deadline for the first petition is next week.
Contact Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.