You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or 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 can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.


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

Grade: B

Click here to view Michigan’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 Michigan’s initiative process, contact the Citizens in Charge Foundation Michigan Citizen State Coordinator:

Greg Schmid

Email Greg

State Balloting Process

How you can change Michigan’s government through ballot initiatives


Agitation for initiative and referendum in Michigan started with the
formation of the state’s Direct Legislation Club in 1895 by George F.
Sherman and David Inglis, both Detroit physicians. Inglis was 45 years old,
a distinguished professor at the Detroit Medical College… 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: 3,821,290

Net number of signatures required: For statutes, 8% of votes cast for
Governor (305,703 signatures.) For amendments, 10% of votes cast for
Governor (382,129 signatures.) For statutes, if the petition contains a
sufficient number of valid signatures the state legislature has 40 session
days to adopt or reject the proposal. If the legislature rejects the law, then
the measure is placed on the next general election ballot. For
amendments, if the petition contains a sufficient number of valid
signatures the measure is placed immediately on the next general
election ballot.

Distribution Requirement: None.

Circulation period: 180 days. (Michigan law states that proponents must
submit signatures that have been gathered within a 180-day period and
that the number of valid signatures must be at least equal to the required
amount for the initiative to qualify for the ballot. The signatures can be
gathered, however, within any 180-day period. Thus, proponents can
gather signatures for as long as they want – but they can only submit
signatures gathered within the same 180-day period.)

Do circulators have to be residents: No

Date when signatures are filed for certification: For amendments, at least
120 days prior to the 2002 general election (Early July – date to be
confirmed). For statutes, signatures must be submitted at least 10 days
prior to the start of the 2009 legislature (Late May – date to be confirmed)

Signature verification process: Random sample.

Single-subject restriction: No

Legislative tampering: Legislature can repeal and amend by a ¾ vote of
each house or as otherwise provided by the initiative.

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