INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM ELECTIONS
34-1809. Review of initiative and referendum measures by attorney general — Certificate of review prerequisite to assignment of ballot title — Ballot title — Judicial review. (1) After receiving a copy of the petition from the secretary of state as provided in section 34-1804, Idaho Code:
(a) The attorney general may confer with the petitioner and shall, within twenty (20) 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.
(b) The recommendations of the attorney general shall be advisory only and the petitioner may accept or reject them in whole or in part.
(c) The attorney general shall issue a certificate of review to the secretary of state 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. The certificate of review shall be available for public inspection in the office of the secretary of state.
(2) Within fifteen (15) working days after the issuance of the certificate of review, the petitioner, if he desires to proceed with his sponsorship, shall file the measure, as herein provided, with the secretary of state for assignment of a ballot title, and the secretary of state shall thereupon submit to the attorney general two (2) copies of the measure filed.
(a) Within ten (10) working days after receiving copies of the petition, the attorney general shall provide ballot titles as provided for in this subsection and return one (1) copy of the petition to the secretary of state, with its ballot title.
(b) A copy of the ballot title as prepared by the attorney general shall be furnished by the secretary of state with the approved form of any initiative or referendum petition, as provided herein, to the person or persons or organization or organizations under whose authority the measure is initiated or referred.
(c) The ballot titles shall be used and printed on the covers of the petition when in circulation; the short title shall be printed in type not less than twenty (20) points on the covers of all such petitions circulated for signatures.
(d) The ballot title shall contain:
(i) Distinctive short title not exceeding twenty (20) words by which the measure is commonly referred to or spoken of and which shall be printed in the foot margin of each signature sheet of the petition.
(ii) A general title expressing in not more than two hundred (200) words the purpose of the measure.
(iii) The ballot title shall be printed with the numbers of the measure on the official ballot.
(e) In making the ballot title, the attorney general shall, to the best of his ability, give a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the measure and in such language that the ballot title shall not be intentionally an argument or likely to create prejudice either for or against the measure.
(3) Any person dissatisfied with the ballot title or the short title provided by the attorney general for any measure may appeal to the supreme court by petition, praying for a different title and setting forth the reason why the title prepared by the attorney general is insufficient or unfair.
(a) No appeal shall be allowed from the decision of the attorney general on a ballot title unless made within twenty (20) days after the ballot title is filed in the office of the secretary of state; provided however, that this section shall not prevent any later judicial proceeding to determine the sufficiency of such title, nor shall it prevent any judicial decision upon the sufficiency of such title.
(b) A copy of every such ballot title shall be served by the secretary of state upon the person offering or filing such initiative or referendum petition, or appeal. The service of the ballot title may be by mail or electronic transmission and shall be made forthwith when it is received from the attorney general by the secretary of state.
(c) The supreme court shall thereupon examine said measure, hear argument, and in its decision thereon certify to the secretary of state a ballot title and a short title for the measure in accord with the intent of this section. The secretary of state shall print on the official ballot the title thus certified to him.
(4) Any qualified elector of the state of Idaho may, at any time after the attorney general has issued a certificate of review, bring an action in the supreme court to determine the constitutionality of any initiative.
[34-1809, added 1933, ch. 210, sec. 9, p. 431; am. 1979, ch. 106, sec. 1, p. 340; am. 1988, ch. 48, sec. 6, p. 70; am. 1994, ch. 400, sec. 1, p. 1263; am. 1997, ch. 266, sec. 7, p. 760; am. 2003, ch. 147, sec. 1, p. 423; am. 2019, ch. 96, sec. 16, p. 353.]