Ballot Initiatives - Infographic
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 08, 2021
Ways to Make a Change: Ballot Initiatives
1. Getting Started
Does your state use ballot initiatives?
Not all states allow for ballot initiatives. Find out if your state is one of the 24 that do by visiting the state government's website.
2. Types of Initiatives
Direct or indirect?
Some states allow proposals to go straight on the ballot. Others require approval by the state legislature. Some even allow local legislators to submit counter-proposals.
3. Preliminary Filing
Submit your idea
Once you have your proposal, you'll file it with a designated state official. They'll review the language and ensure it complies with local law.
4. Title and Summary
Make your pitch
You'll need to create an eye-catching, descriptive title for your ballot initiative, as well as a summary to help voters understand what you're trying to do.
5. Circulate Petition
Get signatures from registered voters who support your initiative. The number of signatures you need varies. It is usually a percentage of voter turnout from the previous election.
Once you have your signatures, submit your petition to local elections officials for review. If you have enough valid signatures, your question will go on the ballot!