The Mississippi initiative law affords voters an avenue for addressing important
constitutional issues which the State Legislature does not.
After registering the initiative with the Secretary of State’s Office, the official
ballot title and summary are prepared by the Mississippi Attorney General. Initiatives
are only valid for one year, during which time a petition must be circulated to
gather signatures to place the measure on the next statewide General Election ballot.
According to State law, for an initiative measure to be placed on the ballot,
a minimum of 106,190 certified signatures must be gathered with at least 21,238 certified
signatures from each of the five congressional districts as they existed in the
year 2000. Signatures must be certified by county circuit clerks. A completed petition
is filed with the Secretary of State’s Office, along with a $500 filing fee.
Not only must an initiative receive a majority of the total votes cast for that
particular initiative, it must also receive more than 40% of the total votes cast
in that election.