How to Qualify an Initiative

Statewide Ballot Initiative Guide

This is a summary of the statewide initiative procedure and the requirements for preparing and qualifying initiatives. This guide is intended for statewide initiatives only. For information regarding the qualification of local initiatives, please contact your county elections official or city clerk.

Please note: Since July 2011, initiative measures only appear on statewide general election ballots.

The current initiative signature requirements according to the California Constitution, Article II, Section 8(b); Elections Code section 9035 are as follows:

  • Initiative Statute: 365,880
  • Initiative Constitutional Amendment: 585,407

For complete instructions on how to utilize the initiative process, please see the Initiative Guide link below.

These suggested deadlines (PDF) to qualify initiatives for the 2018 Election Cycle are not substitutes for California election laws, regulations, or policy. Other factors, such as amending the proposed initiative measure before circulation or the length of time for circulation, will affect the time it takes to complete the process.

Please contact the Secretary of State's Initiative Coordinator at (916) 657-2166 for more information.