Since California voters passed the Political Reform Act in 1974, more than 200 amendments have been introduced to the Act's campaign. The county executive is the head of the executive branch of government in Howard County and is elected to a four-year term. The technical name for this type of voting used internationally is referendum, but in the United States they are commonly known as bills, proposals, or voting questions. Referendums in the United States normally refer specifically to questions about the repeal of enacted law, known internationally as a popular referendum.
Because U. S. states with direct democracy require that each firm be attested and notarized by a circulator, gathering the required signatures often costs millions of dollars in larger states to hire circulators. This means that the process, as in the case of the state legislatures described above, is also in the hands of certain wealthy interests.
Initiatives and referendums, known collectively as voting measures, proposals, or simply questions, differ from most laws passed by representative democracies; generally, an elected legislative body develops and passes laws. Initiatives and referendums, on the other hand, allow citizens to vote directly on legislation. An initiative is a means through which any citizen or organization can gather a predetermined number of signatures to qualify a measure, put it on a ballot and vote for it in a future election (these can in turn be divided into constitutional amendments and statutory initiatives). Statutory initiatives often require fewer signatures in order to be included on a future ballot. Initiatives can also be indirect, meaning that after gathering enough signatures to include a measure on the ballot, the measure is first considered by a state or local legislative body.
If the legislative body decides not to pass the proposed new law within a prescribed window of opportunity, the initiative must be included on the ballot. The details of the process vary by state. For example, in some states, another round of signatures is required to qualify an initiative for the ballot if the legislature does not approve it. In others, if the legislature passes a law that is determined to be substantially similar to the initiative, it prevents elections from being held based on the original initiative proposal, while in others the legislature must approve the initiative without modification or it passes into the hands of the voters. An initiated constitutional amendment is an amendment to the constitution of a state that results from a request from the citizens of a state. By using this initiative process, citizens can directly propose and vote on constitutional amendments, without the need for legislative referral.
When a sufficient number of citizens have signed a petition requesting it, a proposed constitutional amendment is put to the vote. Not all proposed amendments will receive sufficient support to be included on the ballot. Of the 26 proposed petitions submitted in the state of Florida in the 1994 general elections, only three received sufficient support to be voted on. The initiative process, to propose constitutional amendments, can also, as in the case of state statutes, be direct or indirect. Among the 18 states that provide for constitutional amendments initiated by citizens, Massachusetts and Mississippi are the only two states with state constitutional amendments initiated indirectly.
In Massachusetts, if enough signatures are submitted to initiate a constitutional amendment, the initiative first goes to the legislature, where it must obtain approval in two successive legislative sessions from a quarter of the senators and state representatives who vote together in a joint session. Massachusetts is the only state that has that requirement to initiate constitutional amendments. Legislative referral (also known as a legislative referendum or referendum bill in the state of Washington for a legislatively referred state statute), in which the legislature submits proposed legislation to a popular vote (either voluntarily or, in the case of a constitutional amendment, as a mandatory part of the procedure). With the exception of Delaware, 49 US states allow legislatively referred state constitutional amendments. Nevada is the only state that allows law enforcement.
Affirmation of law allows voters to collect signatures to include on the ballot a question asking citizens of the state to sign a current state law. If a majority of citizens of the state vote to pass law, then state legislature cannot amend law at any time and it can only be amended or repealed if majority of citizens of state approve it by direct vote. An automatic referral is question that is legally required to be automatically included on ballot. Many states have laws in their constitution that require question to hold constitutional convention to appear before voters after scheduled period of time. The United States code requires national referendums to be held before authorization of marketing quotas for certain agricultural products including wheat, corn milk and rice. The responsibility for conducting these referendums lies with Secretary of Agriculture and eligibility to vote is limited to producers of agricultural product in question. A similar referendum system exists for fishing quotas in New England and Gulf Fisheries Management Councils.
The Ludlow Amendment was proposed constitutional amendment drafted by Indiana Congressman Louis Ludlow that allowed referendum to be held after congressional declaration of war. It reached its peak public approval rating in 1930s in effort to maintain American isolationism in years before World War II. The national initiative is proposal to amend United States Constitution to allow voting initiatives at federal level. Do you want spreadsheet with this type of data? Get in touch with our sales team. Dianne Feinstein completed Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey.
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