Undertake an Initiative Campaign
Constitutional and Statutory Provisions
Historical Information (Secretary of State)
allows initiatives and referendums, as well as legislative measures and measures
placed on the ballot by special commission. The initiative signature requirement
is 10 percent for statutory measures and 15 percent for constitutional
amendments. The initiative, referendum, and recall were part of the state’s
constitution from its entry into the Union in 1912.
initiative went before the voters in 1912. It proposed granting women the right
to vote, and was approved with 68 percent in favor. Two years later, a total of
15 initiatives qualified for the Arizona ballot, the most in a single year for
Organized labor that year was
successful in passing four initiatives: one to prohibit blacklisting of union
members; a second establishing an "old age and mothers’ pension"; a third
establishing a state government contract system, printing plant, and banking
system; and a fourth requiring businesses to limit employment of non-citizens.
Voters passed a fifth initiative barring the governor and legislature from
amending or repealing initiatives.
The legislature responded by proposing a constitutional amendment to make it
harder to pass initiatives. The Arizona Federation of Labor waged a campaign
against the measure, and voters defeated it by a narrow margin in 1916.
Arizona government reforms passed by voter initiative include changes in
reapportionment (1918 and 1932); changes in the court system (1960 and 1974);
creation of the voter registration system known as "Motor Voter" (1982) that
allows applicants for driver’s license renewal to simultaneously register to
vote; and campaign finance reform (1986 and 1998). In 1988, the voters adopted
an initiative that made English the official language, and in 1992 they adopted
term limits for state legislators.
Since 1992 several other major initiatives have passed in the state including
the banning of cockfighting in 1998 and in 2000 the requirement that all public
school instruction be conducted in English. Also in 2000, the voters of Arizona
defeated an attempt by the state legislature to require a two-thirds vote of the
people before any animal protection initiative could be adopted. This
legislative assault on the process was in retaliation to the success of the
animal protection movement in the state – however, the voters would have nothing
to do with it.
Arizona was the
in the country with 19 measures, including 10 initiatives. The subjects were a
microcosm of the national landscape. The ballot contained a marriage amendment
(Prop 107, rejected), an eminent domain measure (Prop 207, approved), a proposal
to increase the minimum wage (Prop 202, approved), competing anti-smoking
measures (Props 201, 206, the first approved and the second rejected), and
competing land conservation measures (Props 105, 106, both failed). There was
also a cluster of issues placed on the ballot by the legislature focusing on
illegal immigration. Prop 300 proposed to deny state services to illegal aliens,
Prop 100 proposed to deny them bail in certain circumstances, Prop 102
prohibited them from receiving punitive damages in lawsuits, and Prop 103
declared English the state’s official language. All four were approved. Two
somewhat unusual initiatives were also on the Arizona ballot. Prop 200, which
failed, would have awarded $1 million to a random voter each general election as
a way to increase turnout. Prop 204, which passed, required farmers to provide
pregnant pigs and calves a certain minimal amount of living space.