INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM for ballot status November 6, 2018
Statutory Reference: Title 34, Chapter 18
Step 1: Certificate of Review Procedure
A copy of the proposed initiative or referendum petition shall be filed with the signatures of 20 qualified electors of the state in the Secretary of State’s Office.
The Secretary of State shall immediately transmit a copy of the proposed petition to the Attorney General for a Certificate of Review. (34-1804, I.C.)
The Attorney General may confer with the petitioner and shall, within 20 working days after receipt, review the proposal for substantive import and shall recommend to the petitioner such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. (34-1809(1)(a), I.C.)
The recommendations of the Attorney General shall be advisory only and the petitioner may accept or reject them in whole or in part. (34-1809(1)(b), I.C.)
The Attorney General shall issue a certificate of review to the Secretary of State certifying that he has reviewed the measure for form and style and that the recommendations thereon, if any, have been communicated to the petitioner. Such certificate shall be issued whether or not the petitioner accepts such recommendations and shall be made available to the public in the Secretary of State’s Office. (34-1809(1)(c), I.C.)
Step 2: Filing Petition (In Part) After the Certificate of Review
Within 15 working days after the issuance of the Certificate of Review, the petitioner, if he desires to proceed with his sponsorship, shall file the measure with the Secretary of State who shall submit it to the Attorney General for assignment of long and short ballot titles. (34-1809(2), I.C.)
The Attorney General shall provide ballot titles, on the final proposal, within ten (10) working days. (34-1809(2)(a), I.C.)
Any person, who is dissatisfied with the ballot titles, may appeal to the Supreme Court within 20 days after said ballot title is filed in the office of the Secretary of State. (34-1809(3), I.C.) This shall not prevent later judicial proceedings and decisions on sufficiency of ballot titles.
Step 3: Preparation and Circulation of the Finalized Petition
The Secretary of State shall transmit the approved form with the ballot titles to the petitioners with printing instructions. (34-1809(2)(b), I.C.)
Initiative: The petitioner, upon receipt of ballot titles and approved form, has an 18 month circulation period or April 30 in the election year the initiative will be held whichever occurs earlier. (34-1802, I.C.)
Referendum: The petitioner, upon receipt of the ballot titles and approved form, has not more than 60 days after the final adjournment of the session of the state legislature which passed on the bill on which the referendum is demanded.
Each signature sheet shall contain signatures of qualified electors from only one (1) county. (34-1807, I.C.)
Signatures are void if circulator is not a resident and 18 years of age and if the prospective signer is not shown both the short and long ballot title. (34-1807, I.C.)
A signer may remove his or her signature from a petition prior to filing with the County Clerk by striking through his or her name. (34-1803B(1), I.C.)
Initiative: Signatures are submitted to the appropriate County Clerk for verification not later than the close of business on May 1st in the year an election on the initiative will be held, or 18 months from the date the petitioner receives the official ballot title from the Secretary of State, whichever is earlier. (34-1802(2), I.C.)
Referendum: Signatures are submitted to the appropriate County Clerk for verification prior to submission to the Secretary of State. Signatures must be verified and returned to the petitioner in time to be submitted to the Secretary of State by the deadline.
The County Clerk shall strike through and not count the name of any signer who has requested in writing, prior to verification, that their name be removed. (34-1803B(2), I.C.)
Initiative: The County Clerk shall within 60 calendar days of the deadline for the submission of the signatures, verify the signatures, but in no event shall the time extend beyond the last day of June in the year an election on the initiative will be held. (34-1802(3), I.C.)
Step 4: Filing of Petitions
All petitions for initiative and referendum must contain signatures of legal voters equal in number to no less than 6% of the qualified electors at the November 8, 2016 General Election in each of at least 18 Legislative districts (See the 2016 General Election Registration by Legislative District for the number of registered voters by Legislative District); provided however, the total number of signatures shall be equal to or greater than 6% (56,192) of the qualified electors of the state at the November 8th, 2016 General Election before being considered for final filing. (34-1805, I.C.).
Initiative: Initiative petitions must be filed with the Secretary of State with the required number of verified signatures no later than four (4) months before the election at which they are to be voted upon. (34-1802(4), I.C.)
Referendum: Referendum petitions must be filed not more than sixty (60) days after the final adjournment of the session of the State Legislature which passed the bill on which the referendum is demanded. (34-1803, I.C.)
Step 5: Voters’ Pamphlet and Arguments Pro & Con
Any voter or group of voters may on or before July 20 prepare and file an argument not to exceed 500 words, for or against any measure. (34-1812A, I.C.)
Rebuttal Arguments, not to exceed 250 words, may be submitted no later than August 1. (34-1812B, I.C.)
Voter Pamphlets will be printed and distributed by Secretary of State no later than September 25. (34-1812C, I.C.)