A referendum provides the voters with a method to overturn an ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors.

Getting Started
Prior to the effective date of an ordinance, a referendum on the ordinance may be proposed by filing a petition with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors protesting the passage of the ordinance.

Preparing the Petition
The proponent is responsible for designing and printing the petition. The petition design must adhere to the requirements of Elections Codes 100-104. There are no requirements to obtain approval or input from the Elections Division.

Circulating the Petition
The proponent may begin to circulate petitions to reconsider a county ordinance for voter signatures after the Board of Supervisors takes final action on adoption of an ordinance. Upon filing this petition, the effective date of the ordinance is suspended and the Board of Supervisors must reconsider the ordinance.

Submitting the Petition
The proponent must submit all sections of the petition at one time. The Elections Division has 30 working days from the date of submission to verify the signatures on the petition Election Code 11222-11225).

If the petition is found insufficient, no further action shall be taken. If the petition is found sufficient, the Registrar of Voters will certify the results to the Board of Supervisors.

If the Board does not repeal the challenged ordinance in its entirety, the ordinance must be presented to the voters. The ordinance goes into effect only if it is approved by the voters.

This is only a brief outline. Please refer to the Election Codes 9140-9147 for detailed information on the referendum process.

Campaign Finance

Committees supporting or opposing ballot measures are required to report campaign contributions and expenditures. All campaign filing reports are required to be submitted electronically.

For detailed information regarding campaign finances and deadlines visit the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) website.

Campaign Resources

Campaigns may purchase voter data products and maps from the Elections Division. For additional information, please refer to the Candidate Guide.