Initiatives & Referendums
The following procedures may not be applicable
to municipalities operating under a municipal charter which contains
separate provisions for the exercise of municipal initiative and
referendum powers. This section does not contain a complete list of
rules and regulations concerning initiatives and referendums. Please
seek legal counsel or check your municipal charter if you have any
There are two methods in which voters can place
an issue on the ballot:
- Initiative: Is the power of the
voters to place a proposed municipal ordinance or other measure
on the ballot for approval by the voters.
- Referendum: Is the power to place
an ordinance or other measure enacted by a city legislative
authority on the ballot for approval by the voters.
- Initiative or referendum petitions
seeking to place ordinances or other measures on the ballot must
contain the signatures of at least 10 percent of the number of
voters who voted for governor within the municipality or
township at the last general election at which the governor was
elected [R.C. 504.14], [R.C. 511.25], [R.C. 731.28], [R.C.
731.29]. In the case of petitions involving building codes,
the required percentage of voters is eight percent [R.C.
- Each signature must be in ink.
- Each petition must contain the date of
signing and the address of the signer, including his/her street
- Each signer of any initiative or
referendum petition must be a registered voter in the
municipality or township in which the ordinance or measure is to
be placed on the ballot.
- Each petition or part petition must
contain a statement of the circulator that, to the best of his
knowledge and belief, each of the signers is a resident of the
municipality or township and each signature is that of the
person whose signature it purports to be.
- Initiative petitions or part-petitions
must contain the title and a full and complete text of the
ordinance or other measure to be placed on the ballot.
- Referendum petitions or part-petitions
must contain the number and a full and correct copy of the title
of the ordinance or other measure to be referred.
Each petition or part-petition must contain
the following warning printed in red:
"Notice: Whoever knowingly signs this petition more than once,
signs a name other than his own, or signs when not a legal voter is
liable to prosecution."
The following are examples of the types of initiatives and
referendums that are commonly placed on the ballot:
- Tax Levies
- Permissive Sales/Excise Tax Levies
- Income Tax for Municipalities and School
- Bond Issues
- Municipal Charters
- Municipal and Township Initiative
- Formation of Municipal Corporations
- Municipal Zoning
- County and Township Zoning
- Annexation, Detachment and Merger
For further information regarding initiatives
& referendums, contact The Miami County Board of Elections at (937)