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November 20, 2013

Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Referendum Qualifies for November 2014 California Ballot

SACRAMENTO - California Secretary of State Debra Bowen today certified a referendum for the November 4, 2014, General Election ballot. The referendum to overturn two gaming compacts joins three other measures already on the November ballot:

  • A water bond measure, which was placed on the ballot by the Legislature;
  • A state finance measure, which was placed on the ballot by the Legislature; and
  • A healthcare measure, which qualified through the initiative process.

In order to qualify for the ballot, the gaming compacts referendum needed 504,760 valid petition signatures, which is equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the November 2010 gubernatorial election. A referendum can qualify via random sampling of petition signatures if the sampling projects a number of valid signatures greater than 110 percent of the required number. The gaming compacts referendum needed at least 555,236 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold today.

The Attorney General's official title and summary of the initiative is as follows:

REFERENDUM TO OVERTURN INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS. If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, this petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law ratifies two gaming compacts (with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, and the Wiyot Tribe); and it exempts execution of the compacts, certain projects, and intergovernmental agreements from the California Environmental Quality Act. (13-0007.)

The proponent of this referendum, Cheryl Schmit, can be reached at (916) 663-3207.

Article II, Section 9, of the California Constitution provides for the referendum process in California. Electors have the power to approve or reject laws or parts of laws, with the exception of urgency laws, laws calling elections, and laws providing for tax levies or appropriations for usual, current state expenses.

The last statewide referendum on a California ballot was Proposition 40 in November 2012. Referenda are far more rare than initiatives. Since 1912, 48 state referenda have been on a California ballot.

For more information about the referendum process and history in California, go to

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