Filing an Initiative

Anyone interested in filing an initiative is encouraged to read the "Handbook for Filing Initiatives and Referenda in Washington State".

Filing deadlines

  • Initiatives to the 2017 Legislature: March 9, 2016 – December 30, 2016
  • Initiative to the People: January 8, 2016 – July 8, 2016

Requirements for filing an initiative:

  • Sponsor must be a registered voter
  • Create an online account (to file online)*
  • The complete text of the initiative in Word or RTF format
  • $5.00 filing fee (Visa or MasterCard accepted)
  • A signed Affidavit

*The person whose name is on the account will be listed as the main sponsor. Additional co-sponsors may be added.

When you are ready to file your initiative, click the “Start Here” link.

If you have any questions contact the Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division.

As of December, 16 2015 at 5:00 p.m., the Attorney General’s Office will stop accepting initiatives to the 2016 legislature for ballot title preparation. Preparing ballot titles for initiatives submitted after this date would be a waste of public resources because the title would not become final until December 31, 2015, which is the last date for submitting signed petitions. Therefore, it will be impossible for a sponsor to gather sufficient signatures to submit the initiative petitions in time to meet the December 31, 2015 deadline. January 8, 2016 is the first day to file an initiative to the people in 2016, and March 9, 2016 is the first day to file an initiative to the 2017 legislature

File Online

To file a Referendum contact the Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division.