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April 6, 2016

CONTACT: Sam Mahood

(916) 653-6575


Proposed Initiative Enters Circulation

Initiative, Referendum, and Recall Petitions. Electronic Signature Gathering. Initiative Statute.


SACRAMENTO – Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced the proponent of a new initiative was cleared to begin collecting petition signatures today.  

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponent and to the Secretary of State, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponent and to county elections officials. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows: 

INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL PETITIONS. ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE GATHERING. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Authorizes electronic signature gathering for state and local initiative, referendum, and recall petitions. Requires Secretary of State to develop a system that allows voters to view petitions on Secretary of State’s website and to sign them electronically directly on the website, or to download, print, and sign the printed petitions. Requires Secretary of State or local elections official to verify these signatures. Requires Secretary of State to invite arguments for and against petitions, and to post submitted arguments on website. Requires Secretary of State’s website to include ongoing tally of each measure’s signatures received electronically or on downloaded petitions. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: One-time state and local government costs in the millions of dollars or more to develop an online system for electronic petition signature gathering. Potential net costs or savings due to changed state and local government processes for verifying petition signatures. (16-0002.) 

The Secretary of State’s tracking number for this measure is 1786 and the Attorney General’s tracking number is 16-0002. 

The proponent of the measure, Michael Freeman Liddell, must collect the signatures of 365,880 registered voters (five percent of the total votes cast for Governor in the November 2014 general election) in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponent has 180 days to circulate petitions for the measure, meaning the signatures must be submitted to county elections officials by October 3, 2016.  The proponent can be reached at (530) 626-1770 or