Ballot Measure Qualification Deadlines

November 2, 2010, General Election
Suggested Deadlines to Qualify Initiatives



The following suggested dates are not substitutes for California election laws, regulations, or policy. Other factors, such as amending the initiative measure before circulation or the length of time for circulation, will affect the time it takes to complete the process.

Qualifying Using the Random Sample Method

If the raw count total equals 100% or more of the total number of signatures needed to qualify the initiative measure, the elections official is required to verify 500 signatures or 3% of the number of signatures filed, whichever is greater. Counties receiving less than 500 petition signatures are required to verify all the signatures filed in their office. In order to qualify by random sample, there must be 110% of the required number of valid signatures (Elections Code section 9030).

September 25, 2009 - Suggested last day for proponent(s) to submit proposed measure to the Attorney General and request title and summary.

November 17, 2009 - Attorney General prepares and issues title and summary and proponent(s) may begin circulation of the petition (includes time allotted for fiscal analysis).

April 16, 2010 - Last day for proponent(s) to file the petition with county elections officials.

April 28, 2010 - Last day for county elections officials to complete raw count totals and certify raw numbers to the Secretary of State.

May 7, 2010 - Last day for Secretary of State to receive raw count total from each county elections official, determine whether initiative petitions meet the minimum signature requirement, generate random sample, and notify each county elections official of results.

June 21, 2010 - Last day for county elections officials to verify and certify results of the random sampling of signatures to the Secretary of State.

June 24, 2010 - Last day for Secretary of State to determine whether the initiative measure qualifies for the ballot or 100% signature verification is necessary. At this point, if a 100% signature verification is necessary, it would not qualify for the November 2, 2010 General Election ballot. (E-131)

Qualifying Using the Full Check Method

If the result of the random sample indicates that the number of valid signatures represents between 95% and 110% of the required number of signatures to qualify the initiative measure for the ballot, the Secretary of State directs the county elections officials to verify every signature on the petition. This process is referred to as a full check. Within 30 working days of receipt of this notification, the county elections officials determine the total number of qualified signatures and transmits this information to the Secretary of State (Elections Code section 9031).

August 6, 2009 - Suggested last day for proponent(s) to submit proposed measure to the Attorney General and request title and summary.

September 29, 2009 - Attorney General prepares and issues title and summary and proponent(s) may begin circulation of the petition (includes time allotted for fiscal analysis).

February 26, 2010 - Last day for proponent(s) to file the petition with county elections officials.

March 10, 2010 - Last day for county elections officials to complete raw count totals and certify raw numbers to the Secretary of State.

March 18, 2010 - Last day for Secretary of State to receive raw count total from each county elections official, determine whether initiative petitions meet the minimum signature requirement, generate random sample, and notify each county elections official of results.

April 30, 2010 - Last day for county elections officials to verify and certify results of the random sampling of signatures to the Secretary of State.

May 9, 2010 - Last day for Secretary of State to determine whether the initiative petition qualifies for the ballot or 100% signature verification is necessary.

June 21, 2010 - Last day for county elections officials to certify to the Secretary of State results of the 100% signature check.

June 24, 2010 - Last day for the Secretary of State to determine whether initiative measure qualifies for the ballot. (E-131)

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