Fair Vote 2K Home Page The Proposition:
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   Criteria, the Method, Seeding,
   Nesting, Gerry's Gallery,
   Animation, Technical Reference. The Campaign:
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   Commentary, Analysis. Reference:
   Glossary, Links
   Downloads, Technical Information. The Law:
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   Election Code, Supreme Court.

Petition Schedule
and Ballot Deadlines

Initiative Constitutional Amendment for
Automated Districting

Submitting an Initiative begins with the Official Title and Summary, prepared by the Attorney General. Deadlines to qualify for a specific election are variable, but calculated generously from the target election backwards. The proponents of Fair Vote 2K intend to qualify for the November 7, 2000 Presidential general election.

Activity General Election 2000
Proponent Draft (v 12/24/98) Updated: 12/24/98
Legislative Council Advice Submitted: 12/24/98
Attorney General Filing (v10/08/99) Filed: 10/08/1999
Attorney General Title & Summary Original: 12/07/99
AG Corrected Summary Revised: 12/27/99
Petition Circulation December 27, 1999
Petition Submission May 25, 2000
Election Official Verification June 7, 2000
Secretary of State Certification August 10, 2000
Ballot Pamphlet Arguments September, 2000
Proposition Election November 7, 2000
Election Code Reference

Proponent Draft
The first step in the process of qualifying an initiative is to write the text of the proposed law. A final draft (v 10/08/99) of the Fair Vote 2K Initiative has been prepared, modifying Section 21 of the California Constitution and Sections 21000 of the Elections Code.

Legislative Council Advice
Proponents were filed to seek the assistance of the California Legislative Counsel in drafting the final measure. The Legislative Counsel suggestions were incorporated into the final draft.

Attorney General Summary
The final version of the Initiative was submitted to the Attorney General on October 8, 1999, with payment of a $200 fee, which is refundable if the measure qualifies within two years. This submission began the legal timetable for processing and signature collection. The Attorney General prepares the official title and summary within 15 days of the receipt of the final version of the measure. An additional 15-day grace period is allowed for substantive amendments by the proponents. [- 35]
Deadline General: November 12, 1999 (Actual: November 8, 1999)
If the Attorney General determines that the measure requires a fiscal analysis, the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee are asked to prepare an analysis. They must provide an opinion regarding the effect on state finances within 25 workdays, but may receive an extension to complete a full fiscal estimate of any increase or decrease in revenues or costs to state or local governments. If a fiscal estimate is required, the Attorney General has an additional 15 days after receipt to complete the official title and summary. [-50]
Deadline - 381 General: December 17, 1999 (Actual: December 27, 1999)
(Original Title & Summary was issued December 7, 1999)

When complete, the title and summary are sent to the proponents, the Senate, the Assembly, and the Secretary of State. This Official Summary Date is used to calculate subsequent deadlines. No petition may be circulated prior to this date. The Legislature may conduct public hearings on the proposed initiative, but cannot amend it.

Petition Circulation
Upon receipt of the Official Title and Summary, proponents may begin circulating petition sections for signatures. State Code sets various restrictions on the form, content, method and procedures for circulating petitions and imposes certain criminal penalties for abuses. Only persons who are registered, qualified voters at the time of signing are entitled to sign the petition. Each petition circulator must be a registered voter and complete the affidavit Declaration at the end of each petition.
Petitions supporting initiative constitutional amendments must be signed by registered voters whose numbers equal eight percent (8%) of the votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election (November 3, 1998 semi-final total: 8,367,132). The previous requirement of 693,230 was reduced to 670,816 when the final count was tabulated.

Petition Submission
All petitions sections must be submitted at the same time by the proponents, or their personnel authorized in writing, to the county elections officials for the county where they were circulated within 150 days from the Official Summary Date. [-150]
Deadline - 331 General: May 30, 2000 (Actual: May 25, 2000)

Election Official Verification
Within 8 workdays after filing the petition, the elections official determines the total number of signatures on the petition sections submitted in that county and reports the total to the Secretary of State. [- 10]
Deadline - 181 General: June 19, 2000 (Actual: June 16, 2000)
If the Secretary of State determines that the petitions submitted throughout the state exceed 110% of the requirement (737,899), county election officials are notified that the petition is qualified. If the total exceeds 95% of the requirement, county election officials must validate signatures by random sampling within 30 workdays. [- 40]
Deadline - 171 General: June 29, 2000

Secretary of State Certification
The petition is deemed filed and qualified with the Secretary of State on the date the Secretary of State receives certificates from the county elections officials showing the petition has been signed by the requisite number of voters.
Upon certification, the Secretary of State transmits copies of the measure to the State Senate and Assembly, which shall hold joint public hearings on the measure at least 30 days prior to the election. The Legislature has no authority to alter the initiative measure or prevent it from appearing on the ballot.
Each initiative will be placed on the next statewide general or special election ballot which occurs at least 131 days after the initiative qualifies. [- 11]
Deadline - 131 General: June 29, 2000

Ballot Pamphlet Arguments
The law permits proponents of initiatives and other voters to submit arguments and rebuttal arguments for and against the initiative for inclusion in the ballot pamphlet prepared by the Secretary of State and distributed to all registered voters. Arguments will be accepted up to 120 days before the election and challenges must be completed at least 20 days before the state ballot pamphlet is sent to the printer. [-120]
Deadline - 120 General: July 10, 2000

Proposition Election
Deadline - 0 General: November 7, 2000

An initiative measure approved by a majority vote takes effect the day after the election unless the measure provides otherwise. If provisions of two or more measures approved at the same election conflict, those of the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote prevail.
The Legislature may amend or repeal an initiative statute by another statute that becomes effective only when approved by the electors unless the initiative statute permits amendment or repeal without voter approval.

Election Code Reference
The preceding is excerpted from the 1997 version of the Initiative Handbook from the Secretary of State. The current laws, regulations and rules of the California Elections Code govern.
For additional information, contact:

Office of Legislative Counsel
State Capitol Room 3021
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-3057
Attorney General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 322-3360
Secretary of State
Elections Division
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 657-2166
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