About Ballot Measures

What is a state ballot measure?

A state ballot measure, also known as a proposition, is a proposed law that requires voter approval. A majority (at least 50% +1) of the votes is needed to pass.

A ballot measure is placed on a ballot by:

  • The State Legislature; or
  • Citizens who collect signatures on a petition

There are several types of state ballot measures. The November 8, 2022, General Election ballot includes the following types of ballot measures.


  • Initiatives may create or change laws or amend the California Constitution
  • Initiative proponents must gather petition signatures of registered voters to place an initiative measure on the ballot
  • An initiative needs a majority of the votes cast to pass


  • A referendum is a measure that attempts to reject a law adopted by the Legislature
  • Proponents must gather petition signatures of registered voters within 90 days of enactment of the bill if they want to prevent it from becoming law
  • If voters cast more NO votes than YES votes, the law is rejected. If voters cast more YES votes, the law becomes law

Legislative Constitutional Amendment

An amendment to the California Constitution proposed by the Legislature requires:

  • Approval by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature
  • A majority of the votes to pass and become law

Back to top Back to the Top