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Types of Petitions

Our office is the filing officer for countywide petitions, as well as County, school board and special district elected official recalls. Although we provide information on state and local petitions, contact the filing officer for the appropriate jurisdiction based on the type of petition.

 

State:

 

Initiative: A state initiative is the power of the people of California to propose statutes and amendments to the California Constitution. Generally, any matter that is a proper subject of legislation can become an initiative measure. There are two types of state initiatives: An Initiative Statute and Initiative Constitutional Amendment. The initial steps for a state initiative are handled through the Attorney General and Secretary of State. The initiative petition is filed with the county elections official for the county in which the petitions were circulated, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

Referendum: A state referendum is the power of the people to approve or reject statutes enacted by the Legislature. A proponent of a referendum has only 90 from the enactment of the legislation to request a “Title and Summary” from the Attorney General. The petitions must be filed with the county elections official for the county in which the petitions were circulated, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

Recall: A state recall petition is the power of the voters, provided in the State Constitution, to remove elected officials from office before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911, and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected officials. The initial steps for a state recall are handled through the Secretary of State’s office. The recall petition is filed with the county elections official for the county in which the petitions were circulated after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

 

County:

 

A detailed handbook on the countywide initiative process as well as a handbook for submitting ballot arguments can be found in our Election Library.

Initiative: A county initiative is the power of the people to propose a new ordinance by which they will be governed. The proposed ordinance may be submitted to the Board of Supervisors of the county by a petition filed with the Registrar of Voters, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

Referendum: A county referendum is a petition protesting the adoption of an ordinance by the Board of Supervisors. It must be filed with the Registrar of Voters prior to the effective date of the ordinance.

A detailed handbook on the recall process can be found in our Election Library.
Recall: A county recall petition is the power of the voters, provided in the State Constitution, to remove elected officials from office before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911, and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected officials. A county recall petition must be filed with the Registrar of Voters.

 

City:

 

Municipal Initiative: A municipal initiative is the power of the people to propose a new ordinance by which to be governed. The proposed ordinance may be submitted to the City Council by a petition filed with the City Clerk, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

Municipal Referendum: A municipal referendum is a petition protesting the adoption of an ordinance passed by the City Council. The petition must be submitted to the City Clerk of the city within 30 days of the date the adopted ordinance would become effective.

 

A detailed handbook on the recall process can be found in our Election Library. Although city recalls have different timelines and requirements, our guide serves as a starting point for the recall process. Contact your local city clerk for additional information.

Municipal Recall: A municipal recall petition is the power of the voters, provided in the State Constitution, to remove elected officials from office before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911, and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected officials. A municipal recall petition must be filed with the City Clerk.

 

School Districts:

 

Reorganization of School District Boundaries: An action to reorganize one or more districts is initiated upon filing a petition, with the County Superintendent of Schools, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified. The proponent of the petition is required to reasonably identify the territory to be reorganized in the petition text.

Manner in which Governing Board Members are Elected: A petition may be submitted to the Department of Education’s County Committee on School District Organization proposing to change the manner in which governing board members are elected. The Committee will conduct at least one hearing in the district on the matter, and at the conclusion of the hearing will either approve or disapprove the proposal.

Protesting the Appointment to Fill a Vacancy: To challenge a district appointment to fill a vacancy on a school district governing board, a petition may be circulated calling for a special election to fill the vacancy rather than the appointment becoming effective. The petition must be filed with the County Superintendent of Schools within 30 days of the date of the provisional appointment.

 

A detailed handbook on the recall process can be found in our Election Library.

Recall: A school district recall petition is the power of the voters, provided in the State Constitution, to remove elected officials from office before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911, and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected officials. A school district recall petition must be filed with the Registrar of Voters of the county in which the school district is located.

 

Special Districts:

 

Initiative: A special district initiative is the power of the people to propose a new ordinance by which they will be governed. The proposed ordinance may be submitted to the special district governing board by a petition filed with the Registrar of Voters of the county in which the special district is located, after being signed by not less than the number of voters specified.

A detailed handbook on the special district initiative/referendum process can be found in our Election Library.

Referendum: A special district referendum is the power of the people to protest legislative acts of the district. It must be submitted to the governing board of the district by filing a petition with the Registrar of Voters prior to the effective date of the district’s action.

A detailed handbook on the recall process can be found in our Election Library.

Recall: A special district recall petition is the power of the voters, provided in the State Constitution, to remove elected officials from office before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our government system since 1911, and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected officials. A special district recall petition must be filed with the Registrar of Voters of the county in which the special district is located.