Secretary of State Reports No Citizen-Sponsored Questions On Ballot For First Time Since 1992

CARSON CITY – For the first time since 1992, Nevada voters will find no question on their November ballot that qualified as the result of a citizen’s initiative petition, the secretary of state’s office has reported.

The deadline for submitting the required number of signatures to county clerks passed Tuesday with no petitions presented in any county. Three petitions to amend the state Constitution were in circulation.

This election year marks the second in a row when not one initiative petition qualified for the ballot. Voters did approve a petition-generated question in 2008, but the petition had been circulated and certified for the ballot in 2006. All questions to amend the Constitution that qualify for the ballot as a result of an initiative petition must be approved by voters in two consecutive statewide general elections.

Those who attempted to qualify measures for the ballot this year and in previous elections say the process is too difficult for average citizens, with legal challenges from opponents and complex signature gathering requirements cited as two examples.

Four statewide questions will appear on the November ballot as a result of action by legislators in the 2009 session: Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2 relating to the selection of judges and justices; SJR 9 to establish an intermediate appellate court; Assembly Joint Resolution 3 relating to the taking of private property (eminent domain), and Assembly Bill 403 relating to the sales and use tax.

Other initiative petitions to amend Nevada Revised Statutes remain in circulation, but by law must first be certified as sufficient later this year and then be presented to the 2011
Legislature. Depending on any action taken by the Legislature, the questions may then appear on the ballot in 2012.

A history of Nevada ballot questions going back to 1942 can be found at the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s website, which links to historical documents generated over the years by the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office.