This summary introduces a detailed chart is a useful tool in quickly summarizing the initiative and referendum process in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Initiatives are essentially ballot measures or proposals that citizens petition to have placed on the ballot for a particular election. Depending on the state requirements, citizens may have to collect a certain number of signatures in order for the measure to be placed on the ballot as well as following other requirements (such as timely submission and the form of the petition). The measure may involve a question to voters that may be used to create a law, an actual law (statute) upon which voters may accept or reject, a proposed constitutional amendment, or a change to existing law. The types of initiative may be further subdivided depending on whether it can be directly submitted to the citizens or whether it must first be submitted to the state legislature. In contrast, the referendum process is when the citizens of a state are given the opportunity to reject a law or constitutional amendment proposed by the legislature. Citizens decide by voting on whether to adopt or reject the referendum. For more details on the history of the initiative and referendum process for each state and nationally, go to the Initiative & Referendum Institute www.iandrinstitute.org.
While the information on charts linked below is a work in progress, a majority of the information has the exact language of the bills, ballot measures, initiatives, and referendums in question. There may also be links to the official state web sites as they relate to elections and the balloting process.
Listed below the 50 states that have hyperlinks to a detailed chart listing both the referendum process and some critical referendums in the state from the last several years. Simply click on your state to find out more information on animal law referendums, legislative bills, and initiatives.
You may also click here for a link to a chart organized by topic.
The following links are also a source for learning more about particular bills—however they are not meant to be an endorsement for or against any particular web site or group.