Each initiative and referendum state employs a unique method of calculating the state's signature requirements.
Some states mandate a certain fraction of registered voters while others base their calculation on those who actually voted in a preceding election.
In addition, residents have the power to repeal legislation via veto referendum.
Citizens of Michigan may initiate legislation as either an indirectly initiated state statute or a directly initiated constitutional amendment.
For statutes, if the petition receives enough valid signatures, then the state legislature has 40 days to adopt or reject the proposal.
(2) If the measure to be submitted proposes a constitutional amendment, initiation of legislation, or referendum of legislation, the heading of each part of the petition must be prepared in the following form and printed in capital letters in 14-point boldfaced type: INITIATIVE PETITION AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OR INITIATION OF LEGISLATION OR REFERENDUM OF LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY INITIATIVE PETITION (3) The full text of the amendment so proposed shall follow and be printed in 8-point type.
If the proposal would alter or abrogate an existing provision of the constitution, the petition shall so state and the provisions to be altered or abrogated shall be inserted, preceded by the words: "Provisions of existing constitution altered or abrogated by the proposal if adopted." (4) The following statement must appear beneath the petition heading: “We, the undersigned qualified and registered electors, residents in the ____________________________ congressional district in the state of Michigan, respectively petition for (amendment to constitution) (initiation of legislation) (referendum of legislation) (other appropriate description).” (5) The following warning must be printed in 12-point type immediately above the place for signatures, on each part of the petition: WARNING A person who knowingly signs this petition more than once, signs a name other than his or her own, signs when not a qualified and registered elector, or sets opposite his or her signature on a petition, a date other than the actual date the signature was affixed, is violating the provisions of the Michigan election law.
The League of Women Voters and some Democrats had challenged the state’s 162 legislative and congressional districts, but the final suit only targeted 34 of those districts. The plaintiffs challenged the 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th congressional districts.
After the 2018 midterms, Democrats now hold five of those nine seats, and the full delegation is evenly split between the two parties, 7-7.
Proponents have the option of submitting a draft petition to the Board of State Canvassers for approval or rejection based on formatting technicalities.
According to the secretary of state's office, "While Michigan election law does not require the pre-approval of the petition form, such approval greatly reduces the risk that signatures collected on the form will be ruled invalid due to formatting defects." (1) Each petition under this section must be 8-1/2 inches by 14 inches in size.
In 2008, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a ballot initiative designed to make several changes to the state legislative and judicial systems was a general revision, not an amendment, and thus could not appear on the ballot.