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State Law Establishes Form of Government in 76 Percent of Counties


ICMA’s County Form of Government Survey results show that among responding counties:

  • State law establishes form of government in 76 percent of counties.
  • Only 4 percent report that the presiding officer has authority to veto commission passed measures.
  • Thirty-five percent of counties reporting indicate that they have a provision for initiative, which allows citizens to place charter, ordinance, or home rule changes on the ballot by collecting a required number of signatures on a petition.
  • Of those counties that have a provision for legislative referenda, 85 percent report that bond measures must be placed on the ballot.
  • A slim majority (51 percent) of counties report that they do not have a provision for recall, allowing citizens to put on the ballot a question of whether an elected official should be removed from office.
  • Fifty-eight percent of counties report that elections are all by ward or district.
  • Party affiliation appears on the ballot in 81 percent of those counties reporting.

The survey was conducted in October through December of 2014. Summary results are available in the Knowledge Network.

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