CIRCULATING A REFERENDUM PETITION
To view results of Utah Initiatives and Referenda since 1960, click here.
For a list of initiatives and referenda currently in circulation, click here
Circulating a Referendum Petition
A referendum is a process by which a law passed by the legislature is submitted or referred to the voters for their approval or rejection.
To place a referendum on the ballot the sponsors must complete the following procedures:
1. File an application with the Lt. Governor.
Application forms may be obtained in the Lt. Governor's Office or on-line. The application may be filed in person in the Lt. Governor's Office or by mail. The petition must be submitted within 5 calendar days after the end of the legislative session in which the law passed. In addition to the application, the sponsors must include a statement indicating whether or not persons gathering signatures for the petition may be paid for doing so.
2. Print copies of the petition and signature sheet and bring them to the Lt. Governor's Office for numbering.
The Lt. Governor will prepare one copy of the referenda petition and signature sheet for the sponsors. The sponsors then print copies of the referendum packets and return them to the Lt. Governor's Office for numbering.
When printing the packets, the sponsors should follow these guidelines:
- Petitions must be circulated with the front sheet(s), which includes the petition wording and the Lt. Governor's certification.
- Securely bind signature sheets to the front petition sheet. Binding means securing together with a staple or stich in at least three places across the top of the paper.
- Petitions that become separated are invalid.
- No more than 50 signatures sheets can be included in one petition packet.
The Lt. Governor's Office has five days to number the packets. Petitions packets may be numbered at any time during the circulation process.
3. Gather the required number of signatures.
There are two requirements in order to place an referendum on the ballot. First, the sponsors must collect the signatures of registered Utah voters equal to 10% of all votes cast in Utah for US President in the last general election in which the US President was elected (20A-7-301(1)(a)(i)). Second, the sponsors must collect the signatures of registered Utah voters from each of at least 15 of the 29 counties equal to 10% of votes cast for US President in that county (20A-7-301(1)(a)(ii)). To see the signature requirements for initiatives, click here.
An electronic signature may not be used to sign a petition and a petition circulator/gatherer cannot verify their own signature.
4. Submit completed petitions to the county clerks for verification of signatures (Utah Code 20A-7-306).
The county clerk will check each of the signatures to ensure that they are registered voters. The petitions must be submitted to the county clerk 40 days from the end of the legislative session in which the bill was passed.
It is suggested that sponsors collect more signatures than the number required as some who sign the petitions are not registered voters.
If you wish to have your signature removed from a petition, fill out and deliver the Signature Removal Form to your county clerk.