Filing a Referendum

A referendum seeks to approve or disapprove an existing state or local law. All statewide referendum petitions must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office prior to circulating.

Referendum Requirements and Process

  • Pursuant to Article 19, Section 1(1) of the Nevada Constitution, referendum petitions to appear on the 2018 General Election ballot may be filed on or after August 1, 2017.
  • To qualify for the ballot, petitioners must obtain the signatures of registered voters that equal at least ten percent (10%) of the number of voters who voted at the last preceding General Election.  Only registered voters of the county and petition district where the petition is circulated may sign the petition.
  • If the petition is circulated in more than one county, all documents must be submitted to all counties at the same time.
  • The signatures must be gathered in each of the four Petition Districts.
  • The last preceding general election for all petitions submitted in 2018 is the 2016 General Election. Therefore, 112,544 valid signatures are required to qualify a petition submitted in 2018. Of the 112,544 signatures, 28,136 must be collected in each of Petition Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • The last day for petitioners to submit signatures to the counties for verification is June 19, 2018.
  • Counties must certify petition sufficiency within 13 working days of submission. 
  • If the law subject to the referendum is approved by the voters, the law remains as is and cannot be changed in the future except by a direct vote of the people.  If the law subject to the referendum is disapproved, the law becomes void and of no effect.


On or after August 1, 2017       Filing Date
June 19, 2018 Deadline to Submit Signatures to Counties for Verification
July 9, 2018 Counties to Certify Sufficiency to SOS
November 6, 2018 General Election