Circulation period

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A circulation period is the time frame in which a petition can be circulated to obtain the minimum amount of signatures required by state law to place the petition on the ballot. It places restrictions on how long a petition can be circulated.

Massachusetts has the shortest circulation period, allowing 60 days to collect the minimum amount of signatures. Florida, on the other hand, has the longest period with four years. Arkansas, Ohio and Utah have no time limits on petition circulating. There has been no correlation between the length of the circulation period and the amount of petitions that make it on the ballot. For example, Illinois and Florida have two of the longest circulation periods but have very few petitions make it on the ballot. To many, Illinois is not even considered an I&R state despite its lengthy circulation period.

State Circulation Period
Alaska 1 yr.
Arizona 2 yrs.
Arkansas None
California 150 days
Colorado 6 mos.
Florida 4 yrs.
Idaho 18 mos. or April 30th in the election year
Illinois 2 yrs.
Maine 1 yr.
Massachusetts 60 days to submit to legislature and 42 if legislature does not act
Michigan 180 days
Mississippi 1 yr.
Missouri 18 mos.
Montana 1 yr.
Nebraska 2 yr.
Nevada 291 days for Constitutional measures and 316 days for Statutory measures
North Dakota 1 yr.
Ohio None
Oklahoma 90 days
Oregon 2 yrs.
South Dakota 1 yr.
Utah None
Washington 6 mos. for Direct measures and 10 mos. for Indirect measures
Wyoming 18 mos.


National Conference of State Legislatures