City of Tallahassee Charter Initiatives
Any resident of Tallahassee can propose an amendment to the city charter. This process has several steps:
- Create a political committee. The political committee is the official sponsor of the amendment.
- Write the text of the proposed amendment. See below for details.
- Create the petition form.
- Circulate the petition for signature by Tallahassee voters.
- Deliver signed petitions to the Elections Office and pay for signature verification.
- We verify the information on the petition forms. If enough petitions are verified, we will notify you and the City Commission.
- The City Commission passes an ordinance to place the proposed amendment on the General Election ballot.
- The proposed amendment needs approval from a majority of voters voting on the amendment. If it passes, it becomes part of the city charter.
How Do I Create a Political Committee?
Visit our Political Committee and Party page for information on how to create a political committee and file campaign finance reports.
Must I File Reports?
Political committees must file reports using the campaign finance reporting system.
How Do I Write the Text of my Initiative and Create the Petition Form?
You will need to write the full text of your proposed amendment. We cannot help you write it. You may want to work with an attorney to assist you.
Your petition form should contain the following information:
- A ballot title of 15 words or less
- A ballot summary of 75 words or less
- The full text of the proposed amendment
- Spaces for the following voter information:
- Date of Birth
- Signature and date signed by the voter
- A political disclaimer reading: Pd. Pol. Adv. Paid for by [name and address of your committee]
We cannot design the form for you. However, we can review the form with you before you begin circulating it to collect signatures.
Who Can Sign my Petition?
Any voter residing in Tallahassee can sign your petition. Each voter can only sign once.
How Many Petitions Should I Gather?
For the 2022 Election Cycle, you must have at least 14,020 valid petitions verified. This is 10% of the number of voters in Tallahassee in the last General Election.
Some petitions you gather may not be valid. We recommend that you gather at least 16,123 to allow for rejected petitions.
How Do I Submit Completed Petitions to Your Office?
You can mail the completed petitions to our office or drop them off in-person during normal business hours. We recommend that you submit all the petitions at one time.
What Is the Deadline to Submit Petitions?
You must submit your initial batch of petitions by noon, May 25, 2022.
If your initial batch of petitions does not contain sufficient valid petitions, you can submit additional petitions until noon, June 30, 2022.
What Is the Cost to Verify Petitions?
You can find the fee for each petition on the Citizen Initiatives page. We cannot start petition verification until the fee is paid.
If you are unable to pay the cost of verification, you can file an Affidavit of Undue Burden to waive the verification fees. However, if you file an undue burden you cannot pay people to circulate your petition. Also, at the end of the campaign before you dispose of any remaining campaign funds, you must reimburse us for the cost of petition verification if sufficient funds remain.
How Do You Verify Petitions?
We reject a petition as invalid if:
- The person signing the petition is not registered to vote in Tallahassee.
- The person has already signed the petition.
- The petition form has errors.
- The petition is incomplete or illegible.
Once enough valid signatures have been verified, we will pause any further verification and notify you and the City Commission.
What Is Random Sampling?
Rather than have each petition verified, you can request to use the “random sampling” verification method. In random sampling, we do not verify each petition. Instead, we will verify a sample of 100 petitions. If there are issues with the first batch of 100 petitions, we will verify additional batches.
You must submit at least 16,123 petitions to use random sampling.
Random sampling may save you funds. You only need to pay the signature verification fee for the batches of ballots that we verify.
Dates and Deadlines for the 2022 General Election
- Deadline to submit initial batch of petitions: Noon, May 25, 2022
- Deadline to submit supplemental batch of petitions: Noon, June 30, 2022
- Deadline for City Commission to submit ballot language: August 23, 2022
- General Election: November 8, 2022