Local Petition Guidelines and Regulations
Berkeley community members can research petition regulations and obtain guidance on the various types of petitions and how to engage in direct democracy.
Berkeley voters have the ability to change the City Charter, add a new city law, prevent a city law from going into effect, or recall an elected city official through the petition process. In order to qualify for the ballot, you must circulate a petition and collect enough signatures from registered Berkeley voters. Petitions are filed with the City Clerk Department. The filing requirements are different for each type of petition, and are outlined below.
Change the City Charter
To add a proposed change to the city charter to the ballot, you must collect signatures from 15% of registered voters in Berkeley. Read the Charter Amendment Petition Guidelines for more details.
You can propose a new law or a change an existing law by adding an initiative to the ballot. To add an initiative, you must collect a number of signatures equal to at least 5% of the total votes cast for all mayoral candidates at the last election. Read the Initiative Ordinance Petition Guidelines for more details.
You can prevent a new law or Council action from going into effect by adding a referendum to the ballot. To add a referendum, you must collect a number of signatures equal to at least 10% of the total votes cast for all mayoral candidates at the last election. Read the Referendum Petition Guidelines for more details.
For a recall petition, you must collect signatures from at least 25% of the registered voters eligible to vote for the official you are trying to recall. If you meet the filing requirements, the City will hold a special election for the recall. Read the Recall Petition Guidelines for more details.
Withdraw your signature from a petition
You can request to remove your signature from a petition. You must submit your request at least a day before the petition is filed with the City Clerk. Read the Withdrawal of Voter Signature from Petition Guidelines for more details.