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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 state of Minnesota has a very limited initiative process. While the state doesn’t allow the process at the state level, there are some local allowances. Below, you will find a brief overview.

State-Level Initiatives

Minnesota does not allow the initiative process at the state level. 

When it comes to amendments, constitutional amendments can occur. However, the state legislature must propose constitutional amendments. The state doesn’t permit statutory initiatives at all.

Provisions for Local Initiative Process

Minnesota does allow the initiative process at the local level, however, with restrictions.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, cities and townships may use the initiative process. The process may be used to call a special election on a ballot question. Both require a petition with the number of signatures equal to at least 20% of voters in the previous election. 

The Handbook League of Minnesota Cities has a chapter regarding Home Rule Charter City. This chapter gives authority to charter cities to allow the initiative process for ordinances and charter amendments.

For information on whether your city allows the initiative process, and to what extent, check with your local government.