Section 17200, California Elections Code: Initiative and Referendum Petitions
Elections officials required by law to receive or file in their offices any initiative or referendum petition shall preserve the petition until eight months after the certification of the results of the election for which the petition qualified or, if the measure, for any reason, is not submitted to the voters, eight months after the final examination of the petition by the elections official.
Thereafter, the petition shall be destroyed as soon as practicable unless it is in evidence in some action or proceeding then pending or unless the elections official has received a written request from the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Fair Political Practices Commission, a district attorney, a grand jury, or the governing body of a county, city and county, or district, including a school district, that the petition be preserved for use in a pending or ongoing investigation into election irregularities, the subject of which relates to the petition's qualification or disqualification for placement on the ballot, or in a pending or ongoing investigation into a violation of the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Title 9 (commencing with Section 81000) of the Government Code).
Public access to any such petition shall be restricted in accordance with Section 6253.5 of the Government Code.
This section shall apply to the following petitions:
(1) Statewide initiative and referendum petitions.
(2) County initiative and referendum petitions.
(3) Municipal initiative and referendum petitions.
(4) Municipal city charter amendment petitions.
(5) District initiative and referendum petitions.