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If there is an issue that you think should become a law, you don’t have to wait until your state legislature agrees with you. You can let the voters decide by filing a ballot initiative. Your direct action can qualify your measure to be on the ballot in the next statewide election.

Last updated on: December 9, 2020

The following is a brief overview of the initiative process in the state of Iowa. For more detailed information, please refer to the Iowa Constitution.

Initiative Process at the State Level

The state of Iowa does not allow for the initiative process at the state level whatsoever. 

Initiative Process at the Local Level

Upheld in City of Clinton v. Sheridan, the local legislature has the right to grant their city the right to the initiative process. Because of the twenty-fifth amendment to the Iowa Constitution, local government is entitled to home rule. This means that the local government has the right to self-govern, to a certain extent. 

Due to home rule, the rules regarding the initiative process are up to each city. For more information regarding your own city, check with your local government.