§ A7-1Form and conditions of petitions.
§ A7-2Filing of petition.
§ A7-3Validation of petition; public notice.
§ A7-4Number of signatures required from each town; filing of objections.
§ A7-5Campaigns and distribution of literature on initiatives.
§ A7-6Applicable statutes.
§ A7-7Effect of nonaction.
§ A7-8Referendums with conflicting provisions.
The heading of each set of papers of the proposed initiative petition shall be in substantially the following form: "Initiative Measure to Be Submitted Directly to the Voters." This heading shall be printed in not less then twelve-point boldface type.
|TO THE CLERK OF THE COUNTY LEGISLATURE:|
|We, the undersigned, registered qualified voters at the next general election of Suffolk County, New York, residents of _____________ Township, hereby propose the following Charter amendment relating to _____________ and petition the Clerk of the County Legislature and the Board of Elections to submit the same to the voters of the County of Suffolk for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding general election or otherwise provided by law.|
|The proposed Charter amendment reads as follows:|
|(Full Title, Official Summary and Text of the Measure)|
The petition must have room for the signatures of the petition signers and their printed names, residence addresses, name of the town, date of signature and a blank space at least one inch wide after each name for the Board of Elections' use. The petition must contain, on its face, the names and addresses of not more than three sponsors.
Signatures and circulation of petition. The petitions may be circulated only by registered voters of the County of Suffolk. Each petition must contain a copy of the County Attorney's summary, as well as the full title and text of the measure. Petitions may be signed only by registered voters. The number of signatures necessary shall be equal to 2.5% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates who ran for Governor at the last gubernatorial election, said requirement to be calculated on a town-by-town basis. Each signatory of the petition must place his or her signature, printed name, residence and date on the petition. Each signatory may sign an initiative petition only once. Each person circulating petitions shall adhere to the requirements of the New York Election Law regarding the obtaining of signatures on petitions for candidates to elective Countywide office. A witness circulating a petition to take a signature may fill in the address and the date of the person signing such petition.
Withdrawal of signatures. Any person who signed a petition may withdraw his or her name by filing a notarized, written request with the Clerk of the Legislature and the Board of Elections not later than 10 days after the petition has been filed with the Clerk.
As set forth in § C7-3C of the Charter, petitions shall be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature. Petitions must be filed in fastened volumes with a cover sheet which must include the number of signatures, the number of volumes and the title of the initiative petition. All pages, starting with the first page of the petition, shall be numbered sequentially. Collectively, all volumes shall constitute the petition.
In determining the number of signatures, the Board shall presume valid a signature if it appears valid on its face. If the Board determines that there are a sufficient number of signatures, the petition shall presumptively be valid. The Board of Elections shall immediately advise the Clerk of the Legislature in writing of this presumptive validity. No later than one business day after receiving this determination, the Clerk of the Legislature shall initiate the process to cause to be published at least once a public notice in each of the towns of the County, within general-circulation publications designated by the County Legislature, provided that such publications are distributed at least weekly within each town. The public notice shall contain the following information: title, text and summary of the measure. A statement of written objections to the petition may be filed by any registered voter in the office of the Clerk of the Legislature within 30 days of initial publication. Such objections shall be made in conformity with New York Election Law § 6-154. Once the time for filing objections has expired, the Clerk of the Legislature shall immediately forward all objections to the Board of Elections, which shall finally determine whether or not there are a sufficient number of signatures. The Board shall make such determination within 10 business days of receipt of said objections and inform the Clerk of the Legislature of the result. The Clerk of the Legislature shall notify the sponsor, the Presiding Officer, the County Executive and the County Attorney of the final determination of the Board of Elections. If the petition is deemed sufficient, the measure shall be put on the ballot at the next general election as provided in § C7-3D of the Suffolk County Charter.
In addition to the requirements set forth in §§ A7-1 and A7-3, there must be a regional distribution of petition signatures as set forth herein. The petition must contain, within its number of valid signatures, signatures of at least 2.5% of the total number of votes cast within each of the 10 towns of the County for all candidates who ran for Governor at the last gubernatorial election, said two-and-one-half-percent requirement to be calculated on a town-by-town basis. During the thirty-day period for general challenges to a petition, an eligible voter may also file objections pursuant to this section. The Board of Elections shall determine the validity of the objections. The failure of a petition to contain a minimum number of signatures in each of the 10 towns shall be considered a fatal defect.
The sponsor of the initiative and other registered voters shall be permitted to campaign and distribute literature for and against the initiative. All printed material must be accompanied by the name and address of the organization and the name of the principal officer, or the names and addresses of the individuals publishing such material.
The Election Law of the State of New York, as it relates to false, forged, fictitious or ineligible signatures and names, will apply to all sections of the initiative petition. In addition, an initiative process will be subject to the campaign financing laws which are applicable to a Countywide election.
Failure to act within any time period designated herein by any official or body required to act shall be deemed approval of such official or body.
In the event that there are two or more conflicting referendums on the same ballot, the provisions of the measure receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall control.