Referendum Petition Process

Information Packet and Legal References

  • A referendum is the procedure by which the people approve or reject a law already passed by the legislature.

  • The referendum process cannot be applied to dedicate revenues, to make or repeal appropriations, to enact local or special legislation, or to enact laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety.

  • View or print the Referendum Public Information Packet that summarizes the statutes and regulations. This packet includes frequently asked questions, common errors, sample pages for application signature gathering and the number of signatures required.

  • The initiative petition procedures appear in Article XI of the Alaska Constitution, Alaska Statutes 15.45.250 through 15.45.465 and Title 6 Alaska Administrative Code 25.240. The information provided and contained on this page should not be considered a substitute for reading the statutes and regulations in their entirety.

  • Past attorney general opinions for ballot referendums can be located on the division's Referendum Petition Status webpage or at the Department of Law Resources page.

Referendum Petition Timeline

  • The referendum petition application and petition booklet signature process must be completed and filed within 90 days after the adjournment of the legislative session at which the law was passed in order for it to appear on a ballot.

  • A three member referndum committee files a referendum petition with the lieutenant governor with the act to be referred, a statement of approval or rejection, signatures of 100 qualified registered voters to serve as sponsors and a $100 deposit.

  • Within seven calendar days after receipt, the lieutenant governor notifies the referendum committee if the application is denied or certified.

  • If certified, signature petition booklets are prepared by the Division of Elections and provided to the referendum committee to collect signatures from qualified registered voters.

  • Signatures must be equal in number to 10 percent of those who voted in the preceding general election, are residents in at least three-fourths of the house districts and who, in each of the house districts, are equal in number to seven percent of those who voted in the preceding general election in the house district.

  • Once the referendum committee files the petition booklets with the Division of Elections, the division reviews and verifies signers in the booklets. The lieutenant governor notifies the referendum committee if the petition was properly or improperly filed within 60 days of receipt of the booklets.

  • If properly filed, the ballot title and proposition will appear on the ballot of the first statewide primary, general or special election held more than 180 days after adjournment of the legislative session at which the act was passed.