Referendum Petition Process

A referendum is the procedure by which the people approve or reject a law already passed by the legislature. The referendum petition must be 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. You may view and/or print an outline that summarizes the statutes and regulations, sample pages and the number of signatures required. This information, and the information contained on this page, should not be considered a substitute for reading the statutes and regulations in their entirety.

Application Process

  • The application should include the act to be referred, a statement of approval or rejection, names of three sponsors who will serve as the referendum committee, signatures of 100 qualified voters who will serve as sponsors and a deposit of $100.

  • The application is presented to the lieutenant governor for review with the assistance from the Department of Law and Division of Elections.

  • The lieutenant governor notifies the referendum petition committee if the referendum is denied or certified within seven calendar days after the date the application was received. If certified, the lieutenant governor will provide to the referendum committee the ballot title and the true and impartial summary.

Referendum Petition Booklet Process

  • When an application is certified, the Division of Elections prepares 500 referendum petition booklets. Upon notification that the that booklets are available, the referendum committee has 90 days after the adjournment of the legislative session at which the act was passed to collect signatures of qualified voters and file the petition with the Division of Elections.

  • The referendum committee must gather signatures of qualified voters equal in number to 10 percent of those who voted in the preceding general election and are residents of at least three-fourths of the house districts of the state and who, in each of the house districts, are equal in number to at least seven percent of those who voted in the preceding general election in the house district.

Signature Review Process

  • The Division of Elections verifies the signers submitted in the petition booklets and, upon completion of the review, the lieutenant governor notifies the referendum committee if the petition was improperly or properly filed (i.e., there were enough qualified signatures) to appear on the ballot.

Prohibited Subjects

  • 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.

Legal References

The referendum petition procedures appear in Article XI of Alaska Constitution, Alaska Election Law and the Alaska Administrative Code. Click the below links to view the Alaska Constitution, Alaska statutes and regulations: