You have Initiative rights for citizens to place constitutional amendments on the ballot for a decision by the voters, but that right is so severely limited that only one initiative has qualified for the ballot in the last 30 years. Citizens lack a process where they can pass statutes or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature. There is a very difficult process for advisory statewide measures.


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: D

Click here to view Illinois’ individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

State Balloting Process

How you can change Illinois’s government through ballot initiatives


The fight for I&R in Illinois began in 1897, when 250 delegates met in
Chicago to form the Direct Legislation Union. Encouraged by this
organization, the state Democratic Party endorsed I&R, and governor
John Peter Altgeld endorsed it in a Labor Day speech in 1899… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date Initiative language can be submitted: Any time

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next gubernatorial election: 2010

Votes cast for Governor in Gubernatorial election: 3,486,671

Net number of signatures required: For amendments, 8% of the votes cast for Governor in the last election (278,934).

Distribution Requirement: None

Date when signatures are filed for certification: For amendments, no later than 6 months prior to the next general election in which the measure will be placed on the ballot.

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