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Ballotpedia:Signature requirements templates

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See also: Signature requirements
This pages displays all the state-by-signature requirement templates.

Alaska

The number of signatures required is based on the total number of votes cast in the last general election. For both initiatives and referendums, signatures equal to 10% of these votes are required.

Year Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 30,169 30,169
2012 25,875 25,875
2010 32,734 32,734
2008 23,831 23,831

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Alaska Statues, Sec. 15.45.140

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Arizona

The number of signatures required to qualify an initiative for the ballot is tied to the number of votes cast for the office of Arizona governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. The number of signatures to qualify a statute is 10% of votes cast for governor and 15% to qualify a constitutional amendment. The number of signatures required to qualify a veto referendum is 5% of votes cast for governor.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 259,213 172,809 86,405
2012 259,213 172,809 86,405
2010 230,047 153,365 76,682
2008 230,047 153,365 76,682

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Arizona Constitution, Article IV, Part 1, Section 1, ¶ 2-3, 7 Edit...

Arkansas

Signature requirements in Arkansas differ between statutory initiatives, constitutional amendments, and veto referendums. For an initiated constitutional amendment, signatures equal to at least 10% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last gubernatorial election are required. For an initiated state statute, signatures equal to at least 8% of this total are required. For veto referendums, signatures equal to at least 6% of this total are required.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 78,133 62,507 46,880
2012 78,133 62,507 46,880
2010 77,468 61,974 46,481
2008 77,468 61,974 46,481

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, Section 1 Edit...

California

In California, the number of signatures needed to qualify a measure for the ballot is based on the total number of votes cast for the office of Governor. For initiated constitutional amendments, petitioners must collect signatures equal to 8% of the most recent gubernatorial vote. To place a statute or veto referendum on the ballot, signatures equal to 5% of this vote are required.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2011-2014 807,615 504,760 504,760
2007-2010 694,354 433,971 433,971
2003-2006 598,105 373,816 373,816
1999-2002 670,816 419,260 419,260
1995-1998 693,230 433,269 433,269
1991-1994 615,958 384,974 384,974
1987-1990 595,485 372,178 372,178
1983-1986 630,135 393,835 393,835
1979-1982 553,790 346,119 346,119
1975-1978 499,846 312,404 312,404
1971-1974 520,806 325,504 325,504

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: California Constitution, Article II, Section 8 (b) Edit...

Colorado

The number of signatures required for a successful petition is equal to 5% of the total number of votes cast for the office of Secretary of State in the preceding general election. The same number of signatures is required for constitutional amendments, statutes, and referendums.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 86,105 86,105 86,105
2013 86,105 86,105 86,105
2012 86,105 86,105 86,105
2010 76,047 76,047 76,047
2008 76,047 76,047 76,047

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Colorado Constitution, Article V, Section 1, ¶ 2 Edit...

Florida

To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, proponents must collect signatures equal to 8% of the total number of votes cast in the last Presidential election. To place a call for a constitutional convention on the ballot, proponents must collect signatures equal 15% of that total.

Year Amendment Convention
2014 683,149 1,271,127
2012 676,811 1,267,449
2010 676,811 1,267,449
2008 611,009 1,145,642

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Florida Constitution, Article XI, Section 3-4 Edit...

Idaho

The number of signatures required is equal to 6% of the registered voters as of the last general election in each of at least 18 legislative districts; provided, however, the total number of signatures shall be equal to or greater than 6% of the qualified electors in the state at the time of the last general election.

Year Statute Veto referendum
2014 53,751 53,751
2012 47,432 47,432
2010 51,712 51,712
2008 45,893 45,893

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Idaho Statutes, Title 34, Chapter 18, Section 34-1805 & SB 1108 Edit...

Illinois

The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 8% of the total votes cast for Governor in the last election.

Year Amendment
2014 298,399
2012 298,399
2010 278,934
2008 279,039

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Illinois Constitution, Article XIV, Section 3 Edit...

Maine

The required number of valid signatures for both statewide initiatives and referendums are the same. It is tied to the number of votes cast for the office of the Governor of Maine in the most recent gubernatorial election. Gubernatorial elections are held in Maine every four years. The requirement is 10% of the total votes cast for governor (excluding blanks) in the most recent election (2010) as established in Article 4, Part Third, Section 18, sub-section 2 of the Maine Constitution.[1][2]

Year Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 57,277 57,277
2013 57,277 57,277
2012 57,277 57,277
2011 57,277 57,277
2010 55,087 55,087
2008 55,087 55,087

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part 3, Section 18 Edit...

Maryland

For a referendum on a statewide law: signatures must equal 3% of votes cast for governor in the most recent election. For a referendum on a local law, signatures must equal 10% of votes for governor in the affected jurisdiction.

Year Referendum
2014 55,736
2012 55,736

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Massachusetts

Since Massachusetts employs an indirect initiative process, the General Court has an opportunity to adopt proposed laws and amendments before they move to a popular vote. However, unlike other states, Massachusetts requires additional signatures following legislative inaction.

For an amendment or statute, signatures must equal 3% of votes cast for governor in the most recent election (excluding blanks). If the legislature declines to act on a proposed statute, supporters are required to collect a second round of signatures totaling 0.5% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election (excluding blanks). For proposed amendments, one-quarter of the legislature must approve the petition in a joint session -- a second round of signatures is not required.

For a veto referendum, signatures must equal 1.5% of the total votes cast for governor in the most recent election. No more than one-fourth of these certified signatures may come from any one county. If the petitioners request suspension of the law in writing, signatures are required totaling 2% of the total votes cast for governor in the last election.

Year Amendment or Statute Statute add-on Veto referendum Veto referendum (suspension of law)
2014 68,911 11,485 34,456 45,941
2012 68,911 11,485 34,456 45,941
2010 66,593 11,099 33,297 44,396
2008 66,593 11,099 33,297 44,396

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Massachusetts Constitution, Article XLVIII, Parts IV-V & Article LXXXI, Section 2 Edit...

Michigan

Michigan's signature requirements are tied to the total number of votes cast for the office of Governor at the last election. For statutes, signatures equaling 8% of this total are required. For amendments, 10% are required. For veto referenda, 5% are required.

Year Initiated amendment Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 322,609 258,087 161,304
2012 322,609 258,087 161,304
2010 382,129 305,703 191,065
2008 380,126 304,101 190,063

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9 & Article XII, Section 2 Edit...

Mississippi

According to Mississippi law, the number of signatures collected must be equal to at least 12% of the total number of votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial general election.[3]

Year Initiated constitutional amendment
2013 107,216
2012 107,216
2008 89,285
2004 107,338

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Mississippi Constitution, Article XV, Section 273 (3) Edit...

Missouri

The signature requirement total is based on the number of votes cast for governor in the state's most recent gubernatorial election. In 2/3 of Missouri's congressional districts, proponents must collect signatures equal to 5% of the gubernatorial vote for initiated statutes and 8% of the gubernatorial vote for constitutional amendments. Thus, the total number of signatures required will be less than 5% (or 8%) of the total votes cast for governor.

Until the next gubernatorial election, the minimum number of signatures required (counting the six lowest voting districts) is 157,788 for amendments and 98,618 for statutes.[4]

Congressional district 2012 gubernatorial vote Rank (among districts) Statute Amendment
1st 345,026 3 17,252 27,603
2nd 404,209 1 20,211 32,337
3rd 351,362 2 17,569 28,109
4th 325,375 4 16,269 26,030
5th 334,068 5 16,704 26,726
6th 338,577 6 16,929 27,087
7th 324,291 7 16,215 25,944
8th 304,975 8 15,249 24,398

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 50 & 53 Edit...

Montana

The number of signatures required to qualify a measure for the ballot is tied to how many votes were cast in the last gubernatorial election. To place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, proponents must collect 10% of votes cast for governor in the last gubernatorial general election. For a new state statute or veto referendum, 5% of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election are required.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 48,349 24,174 24,174
2012 48,673 24,337 24,337
2010 48,673 24,337 24,337
2008 44,615 22,308 22,308

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Montana Constitution, Article III, Section 4 & Article XIV, Sections 9 Edit...

Nevada

Proponents must collect signatures equal to 10% of the total votes cast in last general election. Nevada does not require a higher percentage for constitutional amendments than it requires for statutory initiatives, veto referendums, or statute affirmations.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum Statute affirmation
2014 101,666 101,666 101,666 101,666
2012 72,352 72,352 72,352 72,352
2010 97,002 97,002 97,002 97,002
2008 58,627 58,627 58,627 58,627

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Nevada Constitution, Article 19, Sections 2 & 3 Edit...

New Mexico

For veto referendum, the only form of initiative in New Mexico, signatures must equal 10% of voters in the previous general election.

Year Veto referendum
2012 60,770

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North Dakota

Since North Dakota does not have a voter registration system, the number of signatures required is tied to the population reported by the last decennial census. As such, any US Citizen who is at least 18 years old and who has resided in the state for at least thirty day may sign an initiative petition. For statutes and veto referenda, the number of signatures required is 2% of the population. For amendments, it is 4% of the population. For recall, signatures must equal 25% of the votes cast for that particular office in the last election. Officials in Congress are exempt. A signer's name be legibly printed on a petition and include the signer's zip code in the required information.

Year Constitutional amendment Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 26,904 13,452 13,452
2012 26,904 13,452 13,452
2010 25,688 12,844 12,844
2008 25,688 12,844 12,844

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: North Dakota Constitution, Article III, Sections 4, 9, & 10 Edit...

Ohio

For constitutional amendments, petitioners must submit signatures equal to 10% of the votes cast for governor in the most recent election.

For statutes, signatures equaling 3% of these votes must be submitted in order to place the proposal before the Ohio State Legislature. If the legislature fails to enact the proposed legislation, additional signatures equaling 3% of the last gubernatorial vote must be collected in order to place the measure the ballot. Put simply, if initiative sponsors believe that the legislature will not enact their proposed law, they should plan to collect signatures equaling 6% of the last gubernatorial vote.

Veto referendums also require 6%. In addition, every type of measure requires 1000 preliminary signatures with the initial filing.

Year Initial signatures Initiated amendment Initiated statute Round 1 Initiated statute Round 2 Veto referendum
2014 1,000 385,247 115,574 115,574 231,149
2012 1,000 385,247 115,574 115,574 231,149
2010 1,000 402,275 120,683 120,683 241,365
2008 1,000 402,275 120,683 120,683 241,365

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Ohio Constitution, Article 2, Sections 1a -1c Edit...

Oklahoma

The number of signatures required is tied to the total vote cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election. Amendments, statutes, and veto referendums must receive signatures equaling 15%, 8%, and 5% of this vote, respectively. Previously rejected measures require 25% of this vote in order to be placed on the ballot again within 3 years. Signatures are presumed valid unless challenged.

The basis of the Oklahoma signature requirement used to be the votes cast for the office receiving the most votes in the state's last general election. Due to higher turnout for presidential elections, the signature requirement varied widely every fourth year. In 2010, voters passed Oklahoma State Question 750 amending the requirement.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 155,216 82,782 51,739
2012 155,216 82,782 51,739
2010 219,400 117,013 73,134
2008 138,970 74,117 46,324
1994 208,554 111,229 -
1992 175,656 93,683 -
1990 175,656 - -
1989 136,489 - -

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Oklahoma Constitution, Article V, Section 2 & Section 6 Edit...

Oregon

The number of signatures required is tied to the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the state's most recent gubernatorial election. Valid signatures equaling 8% of this vote are needed for initiated constitutional amendments and signatures equal to 6% of this vote are required for initiated statutes. Signatures equal to 4% of the votes cast for governor are needed for a veto referendum.

Year Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 116,284 87,213 58,142
2012 116,284 87,213 58,142
2010 110,358 82,769 55,179
2008 110,358 82,769 55,179

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Oregon Constitution, Article IV, Section 1 Edit...

South Dakota

In South Dakota, signatures are tied to the number of votes cast for the office of governor in the state's most recent gubernatorial election. For statutes or veto referendums, signatures equal to 5% of this vote are required. For constitutional amendments, signatures equal to 10% are required.

Year Constitutional Amendment Statute Veto referendum
2014 31,708 15,854 15,854
2012 31,708 15,854 15,854
2010 33,551 16,776 16,776
2008 33,551 16,776 16,776

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: South Dakota Constitution, Article III, Section 1 & Article III, Section 1 Edit...

Utah

The number of required signatures is tied to the number of votes cast in Utah for the office of President in the most recent Presidential election. Before 2011, the basis for signature requirements was the gubernatorial election. For directly initiated statutes and veto referendums, proponents must gather signatures equal to 10% of the total votes cast for President. For indirectly initiated statutes, proponents must get 5% of this vote. If the legislature chooses not to adopt the measure, proponents must collect another 5% to place the measure on the ballot.

Year Direct statute Indirect statute Round 1 Indirect statute Round 2 Veto referendum
2014 102,879 51,440 51,440 102,879
2012 97,119 48,559 48,559 97,119

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Utah Code, Title 20A, Chapter 7, Section 201, Section 208 & Section 301 Edit...

Washington

Washington's signature requirement is based on the total number of votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election. Initiatives to the People require signatures equal to eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor in the last election. Initiatives to the Legislature also require signatures equal to eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor in the last election. Veto referendum petitions require signatures equal to four percent of the votes cast for the office of governor.

Year Initiative to the People Initiative to the Legislature Veto referendum
2014 246,372 246,372 123,186
2013 246,372 246,372 123,186
2012 240,229 240,229 120,114
2010 240,229 240,229 120,114
2009 240,229 240,229 120,114
2008 224,880 224,880 112,440

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Wyoming

The signature requirement in Wyoming is based on the number of votes cast in the state's most recent general election--held every two years. However, in most I&R states, the number of signatures required is based on gubernatorial elections--almost always held every four years. As a result of Wyoming's atypical system, the number of signatures changes significantly every two years due to the fact that voter turnout for presidential elections is generally much higher than in mid-term elections.

More specifically, initiated state statutes and veto referendums require signatures equal to 15% of the total ballots cast in the previous general election. This is the highest signature requirement of any state, even considering requirements for initiating constitutional amendments. Citizen-initiated amendments are not allowed in Wyoming.

 Year  Votes cast in most recent general election Initiated statute Veto referendum
2014 250,701 37,606 37,606
2012 190,822 28,623 28,623
2010 256,035 38,406 38,406
2008 196,217 29,433 29,433
2006 245,789 36,899 36,899
2004 188,028 28,204 28,204

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Wyoming Constitution, Article 3, Section 52(c) Edit...
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