At the state level, Wyoming allows initiatives on statutory matters. After efforts to provide the initiative failed in the early 20th century, voters adopted a constitutional amendment in 1968 allowing the initiative and petition referendum.

Wyoming has one of the most onerous petition procedures in the country, requiring signatures equal to 15% of the number of ballots cast in the previous general election. This is the highest percentage in the country. In addition, it requires signatures from 15% of voters in two-thirds of the counties. Furthermore, even if sufficient signatures are collected, the legislature can prevent a vote by adopting a law that is "substantially the same" as the proposed initiative.

Approval is also more difficult in Wyoming than other states, requiring not just a majority of votes cast on a measure, but also a majority of all ballots cast in the election (which effectively treats abstentions as votes against). This so-called "quorum rule" resulted in the failure of a measure in 1996 that received 54 percent in favor among votes that were cast.

In part as a result of the petition requirements, few initiatives have made the ballot. It took more than 20 years before the first proposal qualified, and from 1968 to 2020, only 7 initiatives made it to the ballot (3 in 1992, 3 in 1994, and 1 in 1996). Only three initiatives have been approved, all in 1992: a proposal imposing term limits on federal and state levels (later overturned by court decision), a proposal banning triple trailers from state highways, and a proposal on railroad emergencies.

The signature requirement for a referendum challenging an existing law is also an onerous 15%. The only referendum to make the ballot, in 1996, attempted to block a law that relaxed the state’s term limits. A majority of votes cast on the referendum favored repeal, but the referendum failed to block the law because of the quorum rule.

Wyoming votes more often on constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the legislature. From 1980 to 2020, voters decided 48 constitutional amendments, approving 69 percent of them.

The initiative process is not available in Wyoming cities.

See For the Many or the Few: The Initiative, Public Policy, and American Democracy (2004, Appendix 1), by John G. Matsusaka.

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