13-27-202. Recommendations -- approval of form required. (1) A proponent of a ballot issue shall submit the text of the proposed ballot issue to the secretary of state together with draft ballot issue statements intended to comply with 13-27-312. Petitions may not be circulated for the purpose of signature gathering more than 1 year prior to the final date for filing the signed petition with the county election administrator. The secretary of state shall forward a copy of the text of the proposed issue and statements to the legislative services division for review.
(2) (a) The legislative services division staff shall review the text and statements for clarity, consistency, and conformity with the most recent edition of the bill drafting manual furnished by the legislative services division, the requirements of 13-27-312, and any other factors that the staff considers when drafting proposed legislation.
(b) Within 14 days after submission of the text and statements, the legislative services division staff shall recommend in writing to the proponent revisions to the text and revisions to the statements to make them consistent with any recommendations for change to the text and the requirements of 13-27-312 or state that no revisions are recommended.
(c) The proponent shall consider the recommendations and respond in writing to the legislative services division, accepting, rejecting, or modifying each of the recommended revisions. If revisions are not recommended, a response is not required.
(3) The legislative services division shall furnish a copy of the correspondence provided for in subsection (2) to the secretary of state, who shall make a copy of the correspondence available to any person upon request.
(4) Before a petition may be circulated for signatures, the final text of the proposed issue and ballot statements must be submitted to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall reject the proposed issue if the text or a ballot statement contains material not submitted to the legislative services division that is a substantive change not recommended by the legislative services division. If accepted, the secretary of state shall refer a copy of the proposed issue and statements to the attorney general for a determination as to the legal sufficiency of the issue and for approval of the petitioner's ballot statements and for a determination pursuant to 13-27-312 as to whether a fiscal note is necessary.
(5) (a) The secretary of state shall review the legal sufficiency opinion and ballot statements of the petitioner, as approved by the attorney general and received pursuant to 13-27-312.
(b) If the attorney general approves the proposed issue, the secretary of state shall immediately send to the person submitting the proposed issue a sample petition form, including the text of the proposed issue, the statement of purpose and implication, and the yes and no statements, as prepared by the petitioner, reviewed by the legislative services division, and approved by the attorney general and in the form provided by this part. A signature gatherer may circulate the petition only in the form of the sample prepared by the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall immediately provide a copy of the sample petition form to any interested parties who have made a request to be informed of an approved petition.
(c) If the attorney general rejects the proposed issue, the secretary of state shall send written notice to the person who submitted the proposed issue of the rejection, including the attorney general's legal sufficiency opinion.
(d) If an action is filed challenging the validity of the petition, the secretary of state shall immediately notify the person who submitted the proposed issue.