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Writing:Path to the ballot (local measures)

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This page is a content-and-style guide about how to add a "Path to the ballot" section to a local ballot measure article.
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Unlike state ballot measures, local measures qualify for the ballot via numerous methods. Methods vary by city and county. Additionally, some measures are placed on the ballot by city or county councils while others are citizen initiatives.

The "path to the ballot" section helps highlight these methods. Information that may be added in this section includes:

  • Whether the measure was proposed by a government council or by a group of citizens
  • The council's vote total to refer the measure to the ballot (Example: 3 council members in favor, 1 against)
  • The minimum umber of petition signatures required to qualify for the ballot
  • The number of signatures submitted
  • The number of signatures verified
  • If the measure requires approval council approval in addition to a certain number of signatures
  • etc.


Below is an example of a "Path to the ballot" section for a local ballot measure article:

See article: Yakima County Home Rule Question (November 2011)

Path to the ballot

This measure was brought to the ballot by a petition effort by residents, 6,316 valid signatures were needed for approval of the petition; petitioners were able to obtain 6,418 valid signatures.[1]

See article: Longview City Red Light Camera Advisory Question (November 2011)

Path to the ballot

On June 20 supporters of the measure submitted an estimated 3,628 signatures. According to reports, a minimum of 2,830 were required. The county auditor, however, noted that they threw out nearly 1,400 signatures that they deemed invalid. As a result, the petition did not have enough valid signatures to gain approval for the ballot. The petitioners were given 10 more days to collect the rest of the signatures, but if they are unable to do so then the lawsuit will be dropped because the petition will not be considered valid.[2]

The city council approved putting two advisory questions on to the ballot in November, one would ask if red light cameras should stay in school zones and the other if they should remain in various intersections around the city. Some council members noted that putting these two questions on the ballot was too hasty as the result of the referendum drive is still unknown; others saw it as a way to get around the issue. Petitioners are still able to gather signatures and the lawsuit is still pending. Though it was noted that if the petition fails then the lawsuit would be dropped.[3]

Petitioners submitted 1,800 additional signatures, 890 valid ones are needed to have the petition approved. Petitioners feel confident that they have acquired the needed signatures but the county auditor still needs to verify the additional signatures.[4]

See also