Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson denies S.B. 31 State Flag Amendments Referendum

On Thursday, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson denied S.B. 31 State Flag Amendments Referendum after the sponsors failed to meet the signature requirements by the April 12 deadline.

The referendum won’t appear on the November ballot. 

Supporters needed 134,298 signatures. Clerks validated 21,030 signatures and rejected 2,117 signatures. The sponsors submitted an additional 28,449 signatures that have not been verified. 

Find more information about the referendum process below:

What, exactly, is the proposal for the referendum?

A statewide referendum submits a law passed by the Legislature to the voters for their approval or rejection at the next general election. The sponsors requested that S.B. 31, “State Flag Amendments,” appear before voters.

Who filed the referendum?

The referendum was filed by James Cook, Chad Saunders, Fred Cox, James Owens, Jennifer Garner, Robert McEntee, Blair Brandenburg, and Angela Trease. 

What date was it filed?

The referendum was filed on March 6, 2023.

How long do supporters have to gather signatures?

Supporters had 40 days from the day that the legislative session ended to gather signatures.

How many signatures do supporters need to gather from which jurisdictions?

Supporters needed 8 percent of the number of active voters in the state as of January 1, immediately following the last regular general election and; 8 percent of the number of active voters in at least 15 Senate Districts as of January 1, immediately following the last regular general election.

How many signatures by what date?

Supporters needed 134,298 by April 12 at 5 p.m.

Who reviews signatures?

Once the signatures were collected, they were sent to the county clerk’s office for verification. The sponsors submitted the packets in the same county where the signatures were collected. 

Who approves or denies the referendum?

Approval or denial is based entirely on the number of signatures the sponsors received. Once those numbers were reported to the lieutenant governor, she declared the petition insufficient.

How long does the lieutenant governor have to approve or deny the referendum?

The lieutenant governor has 106 calendar days from the end of the legislative session to determine whether the required signature threshold has been met. However, if the number of packets submitted makes it numerically impossible for the threshold to be reached, the petition can be declared insufficient without the counties verifying all of the signatures.