The following instructions tell you everything you need to know to sign a petition. These instructions also provide guidance if you want to set up to gather signed petitions from other registered voters.
Your first step is to either download and print petitions, or find a petition pickup location and go get some petitions that are already printed and available.
After that, follow these instructions. Remember, if only you are signing a petition, you still have to fill out the “circulator” section of the petition. When reading these instructions, it would be helpful to Click Here (open separate tab) to view a properly signed petition.
Petition Signing Guidelines & Information
- Use ball point pens, preferably fine point pens.
- Do not use gel pens, UNLESS the ink sets FAST and does not smear.
- Prefer Black ink, but Blue is acceptable.
- Write the name of the County on County Line that is above the signature lines.
- Do NOT MIX signatures from DIFFERENT Counties! Make certain only those from that county sign that petition. If someone wants to sign from a different county, START a new petition for their county.
- CRITICAL: Emphasize the importance of the address used when one signs the petition MUST match the address used when they registered to vote.
- Have Registration Cards available. If signor is not sure they are registered and/or if uncertain of address, it is better to be safe and have them reregister. Voter registration cards may be picked up at your County Recorder’s office and are sometimes available at the DMV.
- Date used on Registration Card MUST BE same date as date petition date/signed.
- They can check their voter registration and status at: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/
- Emphasize taking their time to print name and address neatly and clearly so their signature counts!
- Complete the bottom portion when last person signs – VERY IMPORTANT. For the Date boxes “From ______ TO ________”, use the date the first signature is entered on the petition for “From” and the date the last signature is obtained for the “To”.
- YOU are the CIRCULATOR if:
- You printed and signed the petition for yourself and mailed in.
- Gathered and witnessed signatures of family, friends or co-workers.
- Witnessed signatures at a signing event.
- As Circulator, YOU print your name and current physical address in the lines asking for that information.
How to Set Up Petition Tables / Signing Booths
- This is up to You! You can:
- Set up small table in front of a store (if allowed)
- Set up a table in front of DMV. Obtain a permit by completing application, no charge and submit. Usually this is through Calif Highway Patrol.
- Stand with clipboard in front of WalMart, Raleys, Safeway, FoodMax, etc. Usually a shooting range, gun/ammo store, or sporting goods store will be happy to have you!
- Or set up an actual Pop Up tent in parking lot, empty lot, etc. where there is visibility and traffic!
- Per the Pruneyard Law, you can set up in area with multiple store fronts, if there is a “community” gathering area. For example benches, tables, chairs – a place for people to congregate, visit, rest.
- Suggested Items for Pop UP – BUT do what works best for you!
- Pens, preferably black fine point, but blue OK. If gel, make certain it dries quickly and does not smear. I like Ink Joy, black fine point by
- Petitions – recommend filling in “County” name and printing your name and address on a stack in advance. Saves time later!
- Registration Cards – you can get these from your County Recorder/Elections Office
- Volunteer Sign Up Sheet (Optional)
- Name, Phone, Email, Will Work in Booth, Will help at Events, Will Have Petitions Available at Place of Business (Permanent Location)
- Table/s & Chair/s (folding tables from Costco, card tables, etc.)
- Folder or box for signed petitions – especially on windy days!!!
- IF Permanent Signing Locations in your area, you may want to print up the list. I find people like to take picture of the list and post on Facebook for their friends.
- Small garbage can!
- Make Posters
- Banner – Optional
- Pop Up Tent (Optional) Bought a 10×10 from Walmart for $45.00
- Flags (optional) American Flag, California Flag – Amazon, Walmart
- You may make up a fun donation box to recoup costs. Made a box with patriotic decorations. Used stick-on letters that said: “Small Donations Appreciated to offset booth and copy costs.” People were happy to put in a few dollars as they are SO appreciative that petitions are available for them.
- MAKE Certain you don’t combine signors from different counties! Start new petition for people from different county.
- STRESS the importance of using the address on the petition that is their residential address. If address does NOT match, signature will NOT count!
- IF IN DOUBT, have them reregister! BUT, date on Voter Registration MUST BE date they sign the Petition. NOT a later date. They can also go to: https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/ to check how they are registered & voter status; name, address and party affiliation will be available.