Utah, USA, local Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR] - Referendum

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR]
Location
Utah, USA
Political level
local
Local Name:
Referendum
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Article VI, Section 1. [Power vested in Senate, House, and People.]
(1) The Legislative power of the State shall be vested in:
(b) the people of the State of Utah as provided in Subsection (2)
(b) The legal voters of any county, city, or town, in the numbers, under the conditions, in the manner, and within the time provided by statute, may:
(..)
(ii) require any law or ordinance passed by the law making body of the county, city, or town to be submitted to the voters thereof, as provided by statute, before the law or ordinance may take effect.

References: Constitution Utah (accessed Sept. 20, 2017)

20A-7-601 Referenda -- General signature requirements -- Signature requirements for land use laws and subjurisdictional laws -- Time requirements.

(1) Except as provided in Subsection (2) or (3), a person seeking to have a local law passed by the local legislative body submitted to a vote of the people shall obtain legal signatures equal to:

(a) 10% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes exceeds 25,000;

(b) 12-1/2% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 25,000 but is more than 10,000;

(c) 15% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 10,000 but is more than 2,500;

(d) 20% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 2,500 but is more than 500;

(e) 25% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 500 but is more than 250; and

(f) 30% of all the votes cast in the county, city, or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 250.

(2)

(a) As used in this Subsection (2), "land use law" includes a land use development code, an annexation ordinance, and comprehensive zoning ordinances.

(b) Except as provided in Subsection (3), a person seeking to have a land use law or local obligation law passed by the local legislative body submitted to a vote of the people shall obtain legal signatures equal to:

(i) in a county or in a city of the first or second class, 20% of all votes cast in the county or city for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected; and

(ii) in a city of the third, fourth, or fifth class or a town, 35% of all the votes cast in the city or town for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected.

(3)

(a) As used in this Subsection (3):

(i) "Subjurisdiction" means an area comprised of all precincts and subprecincts in the jurisdiction of a county, city, or town that are subject to a subjurisdictional law.

(ii) "Subjurisdictional law" means a local law or local obligation law passed by a local legislative body that imposes a tax or other payment obligation on property in an area that does not include all precincts and subprecincts under the jurisdiction of the county, city, or town.

(b) A person seeking to have a subjurisdictional law passed by the local legislative body

submitted to a vote of the people shall obtain legal signatures of the residents in the subjurisdiction equal to:

(i) 10% of the total votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes exceeds 25,000;

(ii) 12-1/2% of all the votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 25,000 but is more than 10,000;

(iii) 15% of all the votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 10,000 but is more than 2,500;

(iv) 20% of all the votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 2,500 but is more than 500;

(v) 25% of all the votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 500 but is more than 250; and

(vi) 30% of all the votes cast in the subjurisdiction for all candidates for president of the United States at the last election at which a president of the United States was elected if the total number of votes does not exceed 250.

(4)

(a) Sponsors of any referendum petition challenging, under Subsection (1), (2), or (3) any local law passed by a local legislative body shall file the application within five days after the passage of the local law.

(b) Except as provided in Subsection (4)(c), when a referendum petition has been declared sufficient, the local law that is the subject of the petition does not take effect unless and until the local law is approved by a vote of the people.

(c) When a referendum petition challenging a subjurisdictional law has been declared sufficient, the subjurisdictional law that is the subject of the petition does not take effect unless and until the subjurisdictional law is approved by a vote of the people who reside in the subjurisdiction.

(5) If the referendum passes, the local law that was challenged by the referendum is repealed as of the date of the election.

(6) Nothing in this section authorizes a local legislative body to impose a tax or other payment obligation on a subjurisdiction in order to benefit an area outside of the subjurisdiction.

20A-7-606 Submitting the referendum petition -- Certification of signatures by the county clerks -- Transfer to local clerk.

(1)

(a) The sponsors shall deliver each signed and verified referendum packet to the county clerk ofthe county in which the packet was circulated no later than 45 days after the day on which the sponsors receive the items described in Subsection 20A-7-604(2) from the local clerk.

(b) A sponsor may not submit a referendum packet after the deadline established in this Subsection (1).

(..)

References: Utah Election Code 20A (accessed Sept. 20, 2017)

Subject Matter:

Seeking a law passed by the local legislative body submitted to a vote of the people

Actors

Author:
Local authorities
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
Depending on total votes: 10% up to 30% (see above) or "land use laws": 20% or 35%
Available Time:
45 days
Turnout Quorum:
No turnout quorum found in legal source
Approval Quorum:
Majority of those voting
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum found in legal source
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

20A-7-602 Local referendum process -- Application procedures.

(1) Persons wishing to circulate a referendum petition shall file an application with the local clerk.

(2) The application shall contain:

(a) the name and residence address of at least five sponsors of the referendum petition;

(b) a certification indicating that each of the sponsors:

(i) is a resident of Utah; and

(ii)

(A) if the referendum challenges a county local law, has voted in a regular general election in Utah within the last three years; or

(B) if the referendum challenges a municipal local law, has voted in a regular municipal election in Utah within the last three years;

(c) the signature of each of the sponsors, attested to by a notary public; and

(d)

(i) if the referendum challenges an ordinance or resolution, one copy of the law; or

(ii) if the referendum challenges a local law that is not an ordinance or resolution, a written description of the local law, including the result of the vote on the local law.

20A-7-602.5 Initial fiscal and legal impact estimate -- Preparation of estimate -- Challenge to estimate.

20A-7-606 Submitting the referendum petition -- Certification of signatures by the county clerks -- Transfer to local clerk.

(1)

(a) The sponsors shall deliver each signed and verified referendum packet to the county clerk of the county in which the packet was circulated no later than 45 days after the day on which the sponsors receive the items described in Subsection 20A-7-604(2) from the local clerk.

(b) A sponsor may not submit a referendum packet after the deadline established in this Subsection (1).

(..)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:

20A-7-608. Ballot title -- Duties of local clerk and local attorney.
(1) Whenever a referendum petition is declared sufficient for submission to a vote of the people, the local clerk shall deliver a copy of the petition and the proposed law to the local attorney.
(2) The local attorney shall:
(a) entitle each county or municipal referendum that has qualified for the ballot "Proposition Number __" and give it a number as assigned under Section 20A-6-107;
(b) prepare a proposed ballot title for the referendum;
(c) file the proposed ballot title and the numbered referendum titles with the local clerk within 15 days after the date the referendum petition is declared sufficient for submission to a vote of the people; and
(d) promptly provide notice of the filing of the proposed ballot title to:
(i) the sponsors of the petition; and
(ii) the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.
(3) (a) The ballot title may be distinct from the title of the law that is the subject of the petition, and shall express, in not exceeding 100 words, the purpose of the measure.
(b) In preparing a ballot title, the local attorney shall, to the best of his ability, give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure.
(c) The ballot title may not intentionally be an argument, or likely to create prejudice, for or against the measure.
(4) (a) Within five calendar days after the date the local attorney files a proposed ballot title under Subsection (2)(c), the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated and the sponsors of the petition may file written comments in response to the proposed ballot title with the local clerk.
(b) Within five calendar days after the last date to submit written comments under Subsection (4)(a), the local attorney shall:
(i) review any written comments filed in accordance with Subsection (4)(a);
(ii) prepare a final ballot title that meets the requirements of Subsection (3); and
(iii) return the petition and file the ballot title with the local clerk.
(c) Subject to Subsection (6), the ballot title, as determ ined by the local attorney, shall be printed on the official ballot.
(5) Immediately after the local attorney files a copy of the ballot title with the local clerk, the local clerk shall serve a copy of the ballot title by mail upon the sponsors of the petition and the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.
(6) (a) If the ballot title furnished by the local attorney is unsatisfactory or does not comply with the requirements of this section, the decision of the local attorney may be appealed by a petition to the Supreme Court that is brought by:
(i) at least three sponsors of the referendum petition; or
(ii) a majority of the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.
(b) The Supreme Court shall examine the measures and consider arguments, and, in its decision, may certify to the local clerk a ballot title for the measure that fulfills the intent of this section.
(c) The local clerk shall print the title certified by the Supreme Court on the official ballot-20A-7-608. Ballot title -- Duties of local clerk and local attorney.

(1) Whenever a referendum petition is declared sufficient for submission to a vote of the people, the local clerk shall deliver a copy of the petition and the proposed law to the local attorney.

(2) The local attorney shall:

(a) entitle each county or municipal referendum that has qualified for the ballot "Proposition Number __" and give it a number as assigned under Section 20A-6-107;

(b) prepare a proposed ballot title for the referendum;

(c) file the proposed ballot title and the numbered referendum titles with the local clerk within 15 days after the date the referendum petition is declared sufficient for submission to a vote of the people; and

(d) promptly provide notice of the filing of the proposed ballot title to:

(i) the sponsors of the petition; and

(ii) the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.

(3) (a) The ballot title may be distinct from the title of the law that is the subject of the petition, and shall express, in not exceeding 100 words, the purpose of the measure.

(b) In preparing a ballot title, the local attorney shall, to the best of his ability, give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure.

(c) The ballot title may not intentionally be an argument, or likely to create prejudice, for or against the measure.

(4) (a) Within five calendar days after the date the local attorney files a proposed ballot title under Subsection (2)(c), the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated and the sponsors of the petition may file written comments in response to the proposed ballot title with the local clerk.

(b) Within five calendar days after the last date to submit written comments under Subsection (4)(a), the local attorney shall:

(i) review any written comments filed in accordance with Subsection (4)(a);

(ii) prepare a final ballot title that meets the requirements of Subsection (3); and

(iii) return the petition and file the ballot title with the local clerk.

(c) Subject to Subsection (6), the ballot title, as determ ined by the local attorney, shall be printed on the official ballot.

(5) Immediately after the local attorney files a copy of the ballot title with the local clerk, the local clerk shall serve a copy of the ballot title by mail upon the sponsors of the petition and the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.

(6) (a) If the ballot title furnished by the local attorney is unsatisfactory or does not comply with the requirements of this section, the decision of the local attorney may be appealed by a petition to the Supreme Court that is brought by:

(i) at least three sponsors of the referendum petition; or

(ii) a majority of the local legislative body for the jurisdiction where the referendum petition was circulated.

(b) The Supreme Court shall examine the measures and consider arguments, and, in its decision, may certify to the local clerk a ballot title for the measure that fulfills the intent of this section.

(c) The local clerk shall print the title certified by the Supreme Court on the official ballot-

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:

20A-7-701. Voter information pamphlet to be prepared.
(1) The lieutenant governor shall cause to be printed a voter information pamphlet designed to inform the voters of the state of the content, effect, operation, fiscal impact, and the supporting and opposing arguments of any measure submitted to the voters by the Legislature or by a statewide initiative or referendum petition.
(2) The pamphlet shall also include a separate section prepared, analy zed, and submitted by the Judicial Council describing the judicial selection and retention process.
(3) The lieutenant governor shall cause to be printed as many voter information pamphlets as needed to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
(4) Voter information pamphlets prepared in association with a local initiative or a local referendum shall be prepared in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Section 20A-7-402.

Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: