Initiative & Referendum Institute

at the University of Southern California 


Process Available





Elections Division



Constitutional and Statutory Provisions


North Carolina

North Carolina does not permit state initiatives or referendums. Local initiatives and referendums have been permitted in cities since 1917. As of 2005, local initiatives were allowed in all of the state's largest cities, including Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem.

Notable local initiatives include a 1997 measure in Charlotte that changed city council elections from at-large to districts; and a 1982 measure in Wilmington that changed the zoning laws to prohibit construction of a planned coals storage facility.

See David Schmidt, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution (Temple University Press, 1989).

2014 Initiative & Referendum Institute

University of Southern California

Los Angeles CA 90089-0071