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

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR]
Location
Utah, USA
Political level
regional
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).
(2) (a) (i) The legal voters of the State of Utah, in the numbers, under the conditions, in the manner, and within the time provided by statute, may:
(B) require any law passed by the Legislature, except those laws passed by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house of the Legislature, to be submitted to the voters of the State, as provided by statute, before the law may take effect.
(ii) Notwithstanding Subsection (2)(a)(i)(A), legislation initiated to allow, limit, or prohibit the taking of wildlife or the season for or method of taking wildlife shall be adopted upon approval of two-thirds of those voting.

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

20A-7-301. Referendum -- Signature requirements -- Submission to voters.
(1) (a) A person seeking to have a law passed by the Legislature submitted to a vote of the people shall obtain:
(i) legal signatures equal to 10% of the cumulative total of all votes cast by voters of this state for all candidates for President of the United States at the last regular general election at which a President of the United States was elected; and
(ii) from each of at least 15 counties, legal signatures equal to 10% of the total of all votes cast in that county for all candidates for President of the United States at the last regular general election at which a President of the United States was elected.
(b) When the lieutenant governor declares a referendum petition sufficient under this part, the governor shall issue an executive order that:
(i) directs that the referendum be submitted to the voters at the next regular general election; or
(ii) calls a special election according to the requirements of Section 20A-1-203 and directs that the referendum be submitted to the voters at that special election.
(2) When a referendum petition has been declared sufficient, the law that is the subject of the petition does not take effect unless and until it is approved by a vote of the people at a regular general election or a statewide special election.
(3) The lieutenant governor shall provide to any interested person from the official canvass of the last regular general election at which a President of the United States was elected:
(a) the cumulative total of all votes cast by voters of this state for all candidates for President of the United States; and
(b) for each county, the total of all votes cast in that county for all candidates for President of the United States.

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. (..)

20A-7-305. Obtaining signatures -- Verification -- Removal of signature.
(1) A Utah voter may sign a referendum petition if the voter is a legal voter.
(2) (a) The sponsors shall ensure that the person in whose presence each signature sheet was signed:
(i) is at least 18 years old and meets the residency requirements of Section 20A-2-105; and
(ii) verifies each signature sheet by completing the verification printed on the last page of each referendum packet.
(b) A person may not sign the verification printed on the last page of the referendum packet if the person signed a signature sheet in the referendum packet.
(3) (a) (i) A voter who has signed a referendum petition may have the voter's signature removed from the petition by submitting to the county clerk a statement requesting that the voter's signature be removed.
(b) The statement shall include:
(i) the name of the voter;
(ii) the resident address at which the voter is registered to vote;
(iii) the last four digits of the voter's Social Security number;
(iv) the driver license or identification card number; and
(v) the signature of the voter.
(c) A voter may not submit a statement by email or other electronic means.
(d) In order for the signature to be removed, the statement must be received by the county clerk before the day which is 55 days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed.
(e) The county clerk shall deliver all statements received under this Subsection (3):
(i) with the referendum petition packets to the lieutenant governor; or
(ii) in a supplemental delivery to the lieutenant governor for a statement submitted after the county clerk delivered the referendum petition packets.
(f) A person may only remove a signature from a referendum petition in accordance with this Subsection (3).

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

Subject Matter:

To reject a law before taking effect

Actors

Author:
Legislature
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10% of the total of all votes cast
Available Time:
40 days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed
Turnout Quorum:
No turnout quorum found in legal source
Approval Quorum:
Majority of those voting
Geographical Quorum:
Signature quorum: from each of at least 15 counties, legal signatures equal to 10% of the total of all votes cast in that county for all candidates for President of the United States at the last regular general election at which a President of the United
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

20A-7-303. Form of referendum petition and signature sheets.
(1) (a) Each proposed referendum petition shall be printed in substantially the following form:
"REFERENDUM PETITION To the Honorable ____, Lieutenant Governor:
We, the undersigned citizens of Utah, respectfully order that Senate (or House) Bill No. ____, entitled (title of act, and, if the petition is against less than the whole act, set forth here the part or parts on which the referendum is sought), passed by the ____
Session of the Legislature of the state of Utah, be referred to the people of Utah for their approval or rejection at a regular general election or a statewide special election;
Each signer says:
I have personally signed this petition;
I am registered to vote in Utah or intend to become registered to vote in Utah before the certification of the petition names by the county clerk; and
My residence and post office address are written correctly after my name."
(b) The sponsors of a referendum shall attach a copy of the law that is the subject of the referendum to each referendum petition.
(2) Each signature sheet shall:
(a) be printed on sheets of paper 8-1/2 inches long and 11 inches wide;
(b) be ruled with a horizontal line 3/4 inch from the top, with the space above that line blank for the purpose of binding;
(c) contain the title of the referendum printed below the horizontal line;
(d) contain the word "Warning" printed or typed at the top of each signature sheet under the title of the referendum;
(e) contain, to the right of the word "Warning," the following statement printed or typed in not less than eight-point, single leaded type:
"It is a class A misdemeanor for anyone to sign any referendum petition with any other name than his own, or knowingly to sign his name more than once for the same measure, or to sign a referendum petition when he knows he is not a registered voter and knows that he does not intend to become registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the county clerk.";
(f) contain horizontally ruled lines, 3/8 inch apart under the "Warning" statement required by this section; and
(g) be vertically divided into columns as follows:
(i) the first column shall appear at the extreme left of the sheet, be 5/8 inch wide, be headed with "For Office Use Only," and be subdivided with a light vertical line down the middle;
(ii) the next column shall be 2-1/2 inches wide, headed "Registered Voter's Printed Name (must be legible to be counted)";
(iii) the next column shall be 2-1/2 inches wide, headed "Signature of Registered
Voter";
(iv) the next column shall be one inch wide, headed "Birth Date or Age (Optional)";
(v) the final column shall be 4-3/8 inches wide, headed "Street Address, City, Zip Code"; and
(vi) at the bottom of the sheet, contain the following statement: "Birth date or age information is not required, but it may be used to verify your identity with voter registration records. If you choose not to provide it, your signature may not be verified as a valid signature if you change your address before petition signatures are verified or if the information you provide does not match your voter registration records."
(3) The final page of each referendum packet shall contain the following printed or typed statement:
"Verification
State of Utah, County of ____
I, _______________, of ____, hereby state that:
I am a Utah resident and am at least 18 years old;
All the names that appear in this packet were signed by persons who professed to be the persons whose names appear in it, and each of them signed his name on it in my presence;
I believe that each has printed and signed his name and written his post office address and residence correctly, and that each signer is registered to vote in Utah or intends to become registered to vote before the certification of the petition names by the county clerk.
(Name)
(Residence Address)
(Date)"
(4) The forms prescribed in this section are not mandatory, and, if substantially followed, the referendum petitions are sufficient, notwithstanding clerical and merely technical errors.

20A-7-304. Circulation requirements -- Lieutenant governor to provide sponsors with materials.
(1) In order to obtain the necessary number of signatures required by this part, the sponsors shall circulate referendum packets that meet the form requirements of this part.
(2) The lieutenant governor shall furnish to the sponsors:
(a) a copy of the referendum petition; and
(b) a signature sheet.
(3) The sponsors of the petition shall:
(a) arrange and pay for the printing of all additional copies of the petition and signature sheets; and
(b) ensure that the copies of the petition and signature sheets meet the form requirements of this section.
(4) (a) The sponsors may prepare the referendum for circulation by creating multiple referendum packets.
(b) The sponsors shall create those packets by binding a copy of the referendum petition, a copy of the law that is the subject of the referendum, and no more than 50 signature sheets together at the top in such a way that the packets may be conveniently opened for signing.
(c) The sponsors need not attach a uniform number of signature sheets to each referendum packet.
(5) (a) After the sponsors have prepared sufficient referendum packets, they shall return them to the lieutenant governor.
(b) The lieutenant governor shall:
(i) number each of the referendum packets and return them to the sponsors within five working days; and
(ii) keep a record of the numbers assigned to each packet.

Wording Of Ballot Question:

20A-7-308. Ballot title -- Duties of lieutenant governor and Office of
Legislative Research and General Counsel.
(1) Whenever a referendum petition is declared sufficient for submission to a vote of the people, the lieutenant governor shall deliver a copy of the petition and the proposed law to the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel.
(2) (a) The Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel shall:
(i) entitle each state referendum that has qualified for the ballot "Proposition Number __" and give it a number as assigned under Section 20A-6-107;
(ii) prepare an impartial ballot title for the referendum summarizing the contents of the measure; and
(iii) return the petition and the ballot title to the lieutenant g overnor within 15 days after its receipt.
(b) The ballot title may be distinct from the title of the law that is the subject of the petition, and shall be not more than 100 words.
(c) The ballot title and the number of the measure as determined by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel shall be printed on the of ficial ballot.
(3) Immediately after the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel files a copy of the ballot title with the lieutenant governor, the lieutenant governor shall mail a copy of the ballot title to any of the sponsors of the petition.
(4) (a) (i) At least three of the sponsors of the petition may, within 15 days of the date the lieutenant governor mails the ballot title, challenge the wording of the ballot title prepared by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel to the Supreme Court. (..)

Interaction With Authorities:

20A-7-306. Submitting the referendum petition -- Certification of signatures by the county clerks -- Transfer to lieutenant governor.
(1) (a) No later than 40 days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed, the sponsors shall deliver each signed and verified referendum packet to the county clerk of the county in which the packet was circulated.
(b) A sponsor may not submit a referendum packet after the deadline established in this Subsection (1).
(2) (a) No later than 55 days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed, the county clerk shall:
(i) check the names of all persons completing the verification on the last page of each referendum packet to determine whether or not those persons are Utah residents and are at least 18 years old; and
(ii) submit the name of each of those persons who is not a Utah resident or who is not at least 18 years old to the attorney general and county attorney.
(b) The county clerk may not certify a signature under Subsection (3) on a referendum packet that is not verified in accordance with Section 20A-7-305.
(3) No later than 55 days after the end of the legislative session at which the law passed, the county clerk shall:
(a) determine whether each signer is a registered voter according to the requirements of Section 20A-7-306.3;
(b) certify on the referendum petition whether each name is that of a registered voter; and
(c) deliver all of the verified referendum packets to the lieutenant governor.
(4) Upon receipt of a referendum packet under Subsection (3) and any statement submitted under Subsection 20A-7-305(3), the lieutenant g overnor shall remove from the referendum petition a voter's signature if the voter has requested the removal in accordance with Subsection 20A-7-305(3).

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

20A-7-205.5. Initial disclosures -- Paid circulators.
(1) When petitions are being circulated by paid circulators, the sponsors of the initiative shall file a report with the lieutenant governor on the second Tuesday in March of the year of the regular general election and on the Tuesday before the regular general election.
(2) The report shall contain:
(a) the names of the sponsors; and
(b) the name of the proposed measure for which petitions are being circulated by paid circulators.

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: