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Procedures for qualifying an initiative in Idaho (archive)

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This is an overview of the procedures for qualifyng an initiative in Idaho. In Idaho, initiative and referendum is permitted and applies to state statutes only. Citizens may not amend the constitution. Recall of elected officials is also permitted.
See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Idaho, Laws governing recall in Idaho

Initial filing procedures

Before or at the time of beginning to circulate any petition for the referendum to the people on any act passed by the state legislature of the state of Idaho, or for any law proposed by the initiative, the person or persons or organization or organizations under whose authority the measure is to be referred or initiated shall send or deliver to the secretary of state a copy of such petition duly signed by at least twenty (20) qualified electors of the state which shall be filed by said officer in his office, and who shall immediately transmit a copy of the petition to the attorney general for the issuance of the certificate of review as provided in section 34-1809, Idaho Code.

Petition format

All petitions for the initiative and for the referendum and sheets for signatures shall be printed on a good quality of bond or ledger paper in the form and manner as approved by the secretary of state. To every sheet of petitioners’ signatures shall be attached a full and correct copy of the measure so proposed by initiative petition; but such petition may be filed by the secretary of state in numbered sections for convenience in handling. Every sheet of petitioners’ signatures upon referendum petitions shall be attached to a full and correct copy of the measure on which the referendum is demanded, and may be filed in numbered sections in like manner as initiative petitions. Not more than twenty (20) signatures on one (1) sheet shall be counted. Each signature sheet shall contain signatures of qualified electors from only one (1) county. (History: S.L. 1933, Ch. 210; S.L. 1988, Ch. 48)

Signature requirements

See also: Idaho signature requirements
  • The number of signatures for an initiative or referendum must equal 6% of the number of registered voters at the last general election. At the time of the 2006 election there were 764,880 people registered.
  • 6% of registered voters at the last general election and the 2008 requirement is: 45,893
  • Recall of an elected official requires 20% of registered voters at the last election. The current requirement is:152,976.

See also: Idaho signature requirements

Circulation period

  • Recall petitions must be circulated in 75 days.

Deadline for certification

The proponents upon receipt of ballot titles and approved form have an 18-month circulation period or until April 30 in an election year whichever occurs earlier.

See also: Petition drive deadlines, 2010

Signature verification process

Petitions are turned into the county clerks of the counties in which the petitions are circulated. The county clerks verify every signature.

Residency requirements for circulators

Idaho has a residency requirement for petition circulators.[1]

1. Circulator shall be a resident of the State of Idaho and at least 18 years of age. (34-1807 I.C.)

2. Residence defined:

(1) "Residence," for voting purposes, shall be the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. Principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which his habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever he is absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom, regardless of the duration of absence.

(2) In determining what is a principal or primary place of abode of a person the following circumstances relating to such person may be taken into account business pursuits, employment, income sources, residence for income or other tax pursuits, residence of parents, spouse, and children, if any, leaseholds, situs of personal and real property, situs of residence for which the exemption in section 63-602G, Idaho Code, is filed, and motor vehicle registration.

(3) A qualified elector who has left his home and gone into another state or territory or county of this state for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost his residence.

(4) A qualified elector shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any county or city of this state into which he comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making it his home but with the intention of leaving it when he has accomplished the purpose that brought him there.

(5) If a qualified elector moves to another state, or to any of the other territories, with the intention of making it his permanent home, he shall be considered to have lost his residence in this state. (34-107, I.C.)

See also: Residency requirements for petition circulators.

Single-subject rule

There is no single-subject rule restriction in Idaho.

External links

See also