You have Referendum rights, whereby citizens can suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters do not enjoy any process for Initiative.


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

Grade: D

Click here to view Maryland’s 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 Maryland’s government through ballot initiatives


By 1900, reformers had organized a Maryland Direct Legislation
League, with A. G. Eichelberger as its president. Ten years later the
League claimed “more than 1,000 active, working members.” In 1914, the
League promoted an I&R bill sponsored by State Senator William J. Odgen
of Baltimore, but the legislature amended it to remove the initiative
provision… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next Gubernatorial election: 2010

Votes cast for governor in last election: 1,788,309

Net number of signatures required: For a referendum on statewide law, 3% of the votes cast for governor in the last election (53,649).

Distribution Requirement: No more than half of required signatures may be from any one county or the City of Baltimore.

Signature Gathering Deadline: Signatures may be placed on a Referendum Petition anytime after an Act has been passed by both houses of the General Assembly and before July 1 of the same year. Signatures may be placed on a Referendum Petition before the Governor signs the Act. The process cannot be initiated after May 31 of the year of passage. Signatures may be gathered between June 1 and June 30 only if more
than one-third of the required signatures were filed with the Secretary of State before June 1.

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