Section 19. Any city having more than five thousand inhabitants or any other incorporated city as may be provided by law may frame and adopt a charter for its own government. The legislative body of the city may, by ordinance, submit to the voters the question: "Shall a commission be chosen to frame a charter?" If the ordinance takes effect more than sixty days before the next election, the question shall be submitted at such election and if not, then at the next general election thereafter, except as herein otherwise provided. The question shall also be submitted on a petition signed by ten percent of the qualified electors of the city, filed with the body or official in charge of the city elections. If the petition prays for a special election and is signed by twenty percent of the qualified electors, a special election shall be held not less than sixty nor more than ninety days after the filing of the petition. The number of electors required to sign any petition shall be based upon the total number of electors voting at the last preceding general city election. The election body or official shall forthwith finally determine the sufficiency of the petition. The question, and the names or the groups of names of the electors of the city who are candidates for the commission, shall be printed on the same ballot without party designation. Candidates for the commission shall be nominated by petition signed by not less than two percent of the qualified electors voting at the next preceding city election, and filed with the election body or official at least thirty days prior to the election; provided that the signatures of one thousand electors shall be sufficient to nominate a candidate. If a majority of the electors voting on the question vote in the affirmative, the thirteen candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall constitute the commission. On the death, resignation or inability of any member to serve, the remaining members of the commission shall select the successor. All necessary expenses of the commission shall be paid by the city. The charter so framed shall be submitted to the electors of the city at an election held at the time fixed by the commission, but not less than thirty days subsequent to the completion of the charter nor more than one year from the date of the election of the commission. The commission may submit for separate vote any parts of the charter, or any alternative sections or articles, and the alternative sections or articles receiving the larger affirmative vote shall prevail if a charter is adopted. If the charter be approved by the voters it shall become the charter of such city at the time fixed therein and shall supersede any existing charter and amendments thereof. Duplicate certificates shall be made, setting forth the charter adopted and its ratification, signed by the chief magistrate of the city, and authenticated by its corporate seal. One of such certified copies shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state and the other, after being recorded in the records of the city, shall be deposited among the archives of the city and all courts shall take judicial notice thereof. The notice of the election shall be published at least once a week on the same day of the week for at least three weeks in some daily or weekly newspaper of general circulation in the city or county, admitted to the post office as second class matter, regularly and consecutively published for at least three years, and having a list of bona fide subscribers who have voluntarily paid or agreed to pay a stated price for a subscription for a definite period of time, the last publication to be within two weeks of the election.
Source: Const. of 1875, Art. IX, § 16 (Adopted November 2, 1920).
(Amended October 5, 1971)