Initiative & Referendum Institute

at the University of Southern California 


Process Available





Elections Division



Constitutional and Statutory Provisions



Kansas does not allow either the initiative or referendum process. The movement to establish the initiative process in Kansas was well under way by 1900, when the Democratic and Populist parties in the state endorsed the idea. In 1909, initiative supporters won approval of their amendment in the state’s lower house but were defeated in the state senate.

In 1911 Governor W. R. Stubbs called for the enactment of an I&R amendment, and by 1913 all the state’s major parties had endorsed it, including Kansas’ first state conference of women voters. The nationally known progressive leader William Allen White of Emporia was called Kansas’ “foremost champion of Direct Legislation” in a contemporary periodical. Despite all this support, I&R advocates never succeeded in passing a statewide I&R amendment. However, they did push through the legislature a bill establishing I&R in all Kansas cities in 1909, and a statewide recall amendment in 1914.

See David Schmidt, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution.

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University of Southern California

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