This manual is intended to provide and describe an overview of county initiative and referendum processes. Some of the processes discussed may be superseded by county charter or ordinance. Check with the county elections official for applicable county charter or ordinance provisions.
This manual is not intended to provide guidelines or county governing body referrals.
Deadlines are marked with this symbol:
The county elections official is available to assist and answer any questions.
As used in this manual, unless otherwise noted:
- County elections official refers to the officer who is responsible for conducting elections and administering election laws.
- Elections Division refers to the Secretary of State, Elections Division.
- Prospective initiative or prospective referendum refers to an initiative or referendum petition that has been filed with the county elections official but has not received approval to circulate.
- Initiative used alone refers to an initiative petition, including complete text, cover and signature sheet, which has received written approval to circulate from the county elections official but has not yet qualified for the ballot.
- Referendum refers to a proposed referendum petition which has received written approval to circulate from the county elections official but has not yet qualified for the ballot.
- Completed Petition refers to a prospective initiative or referendum petition where the chief petitioners have submitted 100% of the signatures required for verification.
- Measure refers to an initiative or referendum which has obtained enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
- Chief petitioners refers to any combination of individuals, including a single individual, who sponsors an initiative or referendum.