History of Initiative & Referendum in Alabama

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The History of Initiative & Referendum in Alabama is not full of victories for direct democracy. While voter approval is required for legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, Alabama does not have initiatives or referendums. While most states which currently have such direct democracy powers gain them during the Progressive Era, Alabama only gained the right of referendum on ordinances in major municipalities, which was invoked by petition of 1,000 voters. In the late 1990s, Gov. Fob James (D) advocated for the institution of an initiative process, but was unsuccessful in securing it. While Alabama does not allow citizen-initiated measures, it has a record of the highest number of constitutional amendments voted upon in the country.[1]

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