A County Initiative allows voters to propose a new ordinance and an initiative can be filed at any time during the year. An initiative is placed on the ballot after its proponent has successfully met a series of deadlines and qualifications.
To begin the initiative process the proponent must file a Notice of Intention (Election Code 9103) with the Elections Division. The proponent is also required to publish the notice in a newspaper of general circulation and file proof of the publication with the Elections Division.
Preparing the Petition
The proponent is responsible for designing and printing the petition. The petition design must adhere to the requirements of Election Codes 100-104. A copy of the petition will need to be filed with the Elections Division for approval.
Circulating the Petition
Once the petition format is approved, the proponent may begin collecting signatures. The number of signatures required is based on a designated percentage of the voters. More information can be found in Election Code 9116.
Submitting the Petition
The proponent must submit all sections of the petition at one time. The Elections Division has 30 working days (Election Code 9114) from the date of submission to verify the signatures on the petition.
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. The Board of Supervisors will either adopt the ordinance or call an election (Election Code 9116).
This is only a brief outline. Please refer to the Election Codes 9100-9626; 9160-9190; and 9600-9610 for detailed information on the initiative process.
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.