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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 20, 2020

The following is a brief overview of the ballot initiative process in the state of Louisiana.

Ballot Initiatives at the State Level in Louisiana

Despite multiple efforts to add the initiative and referendum process to the state constitution, Louisiana still does not allow it. The state doesn’t allow either statutory initiatives or constitutional amendment initiatives. 

In the state constitution, Article XIII explains the rules for constitutional amendments in the state. The only way an amendment can be proposed is through the state legislature. There is no provision for statutory initiatives in the state constitution.

Local Initiatives

Like many states that don’t allow ballot initiatives at the state level, Louisiana does have provisions for the local initiative process.

In the Louisiana Constitution, Article X, Section 26, provides for the recall vote of an elected politician. The understanding is that this also allows for recall votes on state-level politicians, although there is no precedent for this.

Article XI of the Louisiana Constitution establishes a home rule charter within Louisiana, leaving local governments to essentially self-govern. Due to home rule, the deciding power for your local initiative process is left to your local government.

For specific information on the ballot initiative process within your county or municipality, please consult your local government. To begin the process, get in contact with us.