Code Section
Nevada > Statutes > State Initiative and Referendum

N.R.S. 295.055 - Regulations specifying format of petition; each document of petition limited to voters of single petition district; removal of name from petition

Overview of Statute

This section provides regulations for the format of a petition.


      1.  The Secretary of State shall by regulation specify:

      (a) The format for the signatures on a petition for an initiative or referendum and make free specimens of the format available upon request. The regulations must ensure that the format includes, without limitation, that:

             (1) In addition to signing the petition, a person who signs a petition:

                   (I) Shall print the person’s given name followed by the person’s surname on the petition before the person’s signature; and

                   (II) Must indicate the petition district in which the person resides, if known.

             (2) Each signature must be dated.

      (b) The manner of fastening together several sheets circulated by one person to constitute a single document.

      2.  The registered voter may consult the list of the registered voters in this State posted on the website maintained by the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection 1 of NRS 293.4687 to determine the petition district in which the registered voter resides. The registered voter may rely on the information contained in the list when the registered voter indicates the appropriate petition district, unless the registered voter believes that the information is inaccurate.

      3.  Each document of the petition must bear the name of a petition district, and only registered voters of that petition district may sign the document.

      4.  A person who signs a petition may request that the county clerk remove the person’s name from the petition by transmitting a request in writing to the county clerk at any time before the petition is filed with the county clerk.

      (Added to NRS by 1963, 1385; A 1985, 550; 1987, 1374; 2001, 644; 2007, 326; 2009, 2592; 2011, 1788)

Definition [County clerk]

Except as the term is used in NRS 293.393, whenever the term “county clerk” is used in this title it means “registrar of voters” in those counties where such office has been created pursuant to the provisions of NRS 244.164.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.044.

Definition [Registered voter]

An elector who has completed the procedure prescribed by law for registration as a voter.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. §  293.090.

Definition [Petition district]

A district created pursuant to the provisions of NRS 304.060 to 304.120, inclusive, for the election of Representatives in Congress.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.069.

Definition [Clerk]

The election board officer designated or assigned to make the record of the election in the roster, tally list and challenge list in the precinct, district or polling place in which such officer is appointed.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.040.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293D.080.

Definition [Person]

1.  A natural person;

2.  Any form of business or social organization;

3.  Any nongovernmental legal entity, including, without limitation, a corporation, partnership, association, trust, unincorporated organization, labor union, committee for political action, political party and committee sponsored by a political party; or

4.  A government, governmental agency or political subdivision of a government.

See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 294A.009.


Nevada Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance

Attorney General's Opinions

  • AGO 379 (1930) Signer of a referendum petition may not withdraw name after petition is filed.

  • AGO 99-37 (1999) Although Nev. Art. 19, section 3 and NRS 295.055 do not specifically require the circulator of an initiative or referendum petition to be a registered voter, those sections have historically been interpreted to contain such a requirement because: (1) each signer of a petition must be a registered voter; and (2) accompanying each petition must be an affidavit, made by a signer of the petition (i.e. the circulator) attesting that all of the signatures are genuine and that each signer was a registered voter. As set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Buckley v. American Connotational Law Found., Inc., 119 S.Ct. 636 (1999), a state law that limits petition circulation to registered voters imposes a burden on political expression in violation of the U.S. 1st and 14th amendments. (See also Nev. Art. 1, § 9 and Nev. Art. 4, § 21.) In addition to provisions of law related to the circulation of an initiative or referendum petition (see NRS Art. 19, § 3 and NRS 295.055), Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Found., Inc., 119 S.Ct. 636 (1999), makes invalid—with respect to any ballot access petition—a requirement that the circulator of the petition be a registered voter (see NRS 293.128 and 295.150).

  • AGO 2000-24 (2000) Certain of the provisions of NRS 295.055 are ambiguous because although that section authorizes a person who has signed a petition for an initiative or referendum, until such time as the petition is “filed with the county clerk,” to request that the county clerk remove the person’s name from the petition, such a petition is not actually “filed” with the county clerk but is simply submitted to the county clerk for verification of signatures. Despite this ambiguity, the legislative history of NRS 295.055 indicates that the Nevada Legislature intended the phrase “filed with the county clerk” to refer to the time when a petition is submitted to a county clerk for verification of signatures.

Additional Resources

Notes from "State of Nevada Elections 2015," published on January 1, 2016, by Barbara K. Cegavske, Nevada Secretary of State.

  • Effective on October 27, 2011, the four Congressional Districts based on the 2010 Census and approved by the Court pursuant to the Order set forth in the Appendix to Chapter 293 of NRS beginning at page 293-195 constitute the petition districts, as defined in NRS 293.069. Those four Congressional Districts supersede NRS 304.100, 304.110 and 304.120 until the Legislature takes further action regarding apportionment of the Congressional Districts. Order Adopting and Approving Special Masters’ Report and Redistricting Maps as Modified by the Court, Guy v. Miller, Case No. 11 OC 00042 1B (Nev. First Jud. Dist. Ct. Oct. 27, 2011) and Addendum to October 27, 2011 Order Adopting and Approving Special Masters’ Report and Redistricting Maps as Modified by the Court, Guy v. Miller, Case No. 11 OC 00042 1B (Nev. First Jud. Dist. Ct. Dec. 8, 2011).