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State Requirements for Initiative Petitions

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Written by Dr. Tomotaroh Granzier-Nakajima
Published on January 23, 2023
Research Highlights

States have adopted various policies relating to voter and legislature requirements for constitutional amendments. 

See additional table for a list of 2022 Initiative Petitions in Missouri and the US.

See our related Science Notes on Initiative Petition Process and Impacts.

Table 1. States with a time limit after an initiative is passed before the legislature may alter or repeal the initiative.

State Citation Alteration time limit
Alaska AK Const. Art. 11, § 6 Two years
Nevada N.R.S. Const. Art. 19, § 2 Three years
North Dakota NDCC Const. Art. 3, § 8 Seven years (or two-thirds vote prior to seven years)
Washington RCWA Const. Art. 2, § 1 Two years (or two-thirds vote prior to two years)
Wyoming Const. Art. 3, § 52 Two years


Table 2. States with different voter requirements for constitutional amendments.

State The requirement to alter the constitution
Colorado 55% of voters must approve
Florida 60% of voters must approve
Nevada Only a majority is needed, but it must be approved in two consecutive elections
Illinois Either 60% of voters must approve, or a majority of those voting in the election as a whole


Table 3. States with supermajority requirements for legislatures to ballot initiatives.

State Citation Supermajority Requirement
Arizona A.R.S. Const.Art. 21 § 1, Part 6 May amend the initiative with three-fourths vote, but may only amend to “further the purpose” of the measure.
Arkansas Arkansas Const.Art. 5 § 1 Two-thirds vote to amend or repeal.
Michigan MI Const.Art. 2, § 9 May be amended or repealed only by three-fourths of each house or by a vote of the electors.
Nebraska Ne.Rev.St. CONST.Art. III, § 2 Two-thirds vote to amend or repeal.
North Dakota NDCC Const.Art. 3, § 8 Two-thirds vote (or majority after seven years).
Oregon OR CONSTArt.II, § 23;Art. IV, § 1 Supermajority vote only to change vote requirement.
Washington RCWA Const.Art. 2, § 1 Two-thirds vote (or majority after two years).

*NOTE: This memo was written in response to a specific legislator request and is meant to supplement the research contained in the following full Science Notes: Initiative Petition Process and Initiative Petition Impacts.

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