COUNTIES AND COUNTY LAW
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
31-717. County initiative and referendum — Signatures required — Printing of petition — Review of measures — Time limits. The board of county commissioners of each county shall provide by ordinance for direct legislation by the people through the initiative and referendum. For the purposes of this section, "initiative" means the right of the people at an election to adopt, amend or repeal legislation. "Referendum" means the right of the people at an election to approve or reject legislation adopted by the board of county commissioners. Requirements of the initiative and referendum ordinance adopted shall be as follows:
(1) Petitioners for initiative or referendum shall be equal to twenty per cent (20%) of the qualified electors voting in the county in the last general election;
(2) Initial petitions for referendum containing not fewer than twenty (20) signatures of qualified electors of the county shall be filed not less than thirty (30) days following the final publication of the ordinance to be subject to referendum as provided in section 31-715, Idaho Code. After the initial filing of the petition the provisions of subsection (6) of this section shall apply. Completed petitions, with the requisite number of signatures for referendum, shall be filed with the county clerk not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after the date of approval of the form in subsection (6)(d) of this section;
(3) Completed petitions, with the requisite number of signatures for initiative, shall be filed with the county clerk not more than one hundred eighty (180) days after the date of approval of the form in subsection (6)(d) of this section;
(4) All requirements for gathering signatures shall be met by or within the time frames imposed by subsections (2) and (3) of this section;
(5) A special election for initiative or referendum shall be provided as prescribed in section 34-106, Idaho Code;
(6) The following requirements for signature, verification of valid petitions, printing of petition, review of measures, and time limits, except as expressly modified herein, shall be as nearly as practicable as provided in sections 34-1801 through 34-1811 and 34-1813 through 34-1822, Idaho Code:
(a) Before beginning to circulate any petition for an initiative or for a referendum on any ordinance passed by the board of county commissioners, the person or persons or organization or organizations under whose authority the measure is to be initiated or referred shall send or deliver to the county clerk a copy of such petition duly signed by at least twenty (20) qualified electors of the county which shall be filed by said officer in his office, and who shall immediately transmit a copy of the petition to the prosecuting attorney for the issuance of the certificate of review as provided in section 34-1809, Idaho Code.
(b) After receiving a copy of the petition from the county clerk, the county prosecuting attorney may confer with the petitioner and shall, within ten (10) working days from receipt thereof, review the proposal for matters of substantive import and shall recommend to the petitioner such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. The recommendations of the prosecuting attorney shall be advisory only and the petitioner may accept or reject them in whole or in part. The prosecuting attorney shall issue a certificate of review to the county clerk certifying that he has reviewed the measure for form and style and that the recommendations thereon, if any, have been communicated to the petitioner, and such certificate shall be issued whether or not the petitioner accepts such recommendations. Within fifteen (15) working days after the issuance of a certificate of review, the petitioner, if he desires to proceed with his sponsorship, shall file the ballot measure with the county clerk for assignment of a ballot title. Other requirements shall be as provided in section 34-1809, Idaho Code.
(c) Preparation of the ballot title by the prosecuting attorney shall be as prescribed in section 34-1809, Idaho Code.
(d) After the form of the initiative or referendum petition has been approved by the county clerk, the petition shall be printed by the person or persons or organization or organizations under whose authority the measure is to be initiated or referred and circulated in the county for the signatures of legal voters.
(e) Verification of petition and signatures shall be as prescribed in section 34-1807, Idaho Code.
(f) Upon final certification of the petition, the county clerk shall order an election to be held pursuant to section 34-106, Idaho Code.
(g) If the county clerk shall refuse to accept and file any petition for the initiative or for the referendum with the requisite number of signatures of qualified electors thereto attached, any citizen may apply, within ten (10) working days after such refusal, to the district court for a writ of mandamus to compel him to do so. If it shall be decided by the court that such petition is legally sufficient, the county clerk shall then file it, with a certified copy of the judgment attached thereto, as of the date on which it was originally offered for filing in his office. On a showing that any petition filed is not legally sufficient, the court may enjoin the county clerk and all other officers from certifying or printing on the official ballot for the ensuing election the ballot title and numbers of such measure. All such suits shall be advanced on the court docket and heard and decided by the court as quickly as possible. Either party may appeal to the supreme court within ten (10) working days after a decision is rendered.
(h) It shall be unlawful for any person to make any false affidavit concerning any petition in this section or to leave a petition unattended for the purpose of gathering signatures. Any person violating any of the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(7) Any measure so initiated by or referred to the people shall take effect and become a law when it is approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise.
[31-717, added 1977, ch. 145, sec. 1, p. 321; am. 1993, ch. 313, sec. 1, p. 1158; am. 1994, ch. 372, sec. 1, p. 1198; am. 1996, ch. 283, sec. 9, p. 946.]