You have Initiative rights for citizens to place constitutional amendments on the ballot for a decision by the voters, but citizens lack a process where they can pass statutes or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature.


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

Grade: F

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

Citizen State Coordinator

For more information about how to get involved in protecting and expanding Mississippi’s initiative process, contact the Citizens in Charge Foundation Mississippi Citizen State Coordinator:

Rick Ward

Email Rick


State Balloting Process

How you can change Mississippi’s government through ballot initiatives


Mississippi is the only state that once had a statewide initiative process
but lost it: not because the people rejected it, but because the state
supreme court in 1922 decided on the basis of a legal technicality to
throw the I&R provision out of the state constitution… 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: 2011

Votes cast for governor in last election: 744,039

Net number of signatures required: 12% of the total number of votes cast
for governor in the last gubernatorial general election (89,284 signatures.)
Distribution Requirement: 20% from each of the five congressional districts.
Thus, at least 17,857 signatures must be gathered from each of the five
congressional districts. If less than 17,857 certified signatures are submitted
from ANY of the five congressional districts, the entire petition will be

Circulation period: 1 year

Do circulators have to be residents: Yes

Date when signatures are due for certification: At least 90 days prior to the
convening of the legislature to which it will be submitted. A petition filed
after the 90th day cannot be submitted to the next legislative session.

Signature verification process: County Circuit Clerks verify every signature.

Single-subject restriction: No

Legislative tampering: Constitutional amendments by initiative become
part of the constitution and are thus only alterable by the legislature
through regular constitutional procedures, any changes of which must be
approved by popular vote.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.