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R-71 coming up: Understand your choices

by Brian Zylstra | September 10th, 2009

apprrejecWashington Families Standing Together announced Wednesday night that the group won’t appeal Tuesday’s ruling on Referendum 71 by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee. (See The AP’s story.) That clears the way for a statewide vote on R-71 this November.

Now that R-71 is going on the General Election ballot after a close and lengthy signature check and three lawsuits, it’s important that you understand the choices that will appear on the ballot. (There has been some confusion out there about how to vote on R-71.) Your choice will be to “Approve” or “Reject” the domestic partnership legislation passed by the Legislature earlier this year.

• Voters who support the domestic partnership bill should vote “Approve”
• Voters who oppose the domestic partnership bill should vote “Reject”

Here is the exact text of the R-71 ballot title:        

Passed by the Legislature and Ordered Referred by Petition
Referendum Measure No. 71

The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage. Should this bill be:  

[  ] Approved
[  ] Rejected

We’re not telling you how to vote on R-71. How a person votes on the referendum is up to that voter. We just want to help clear up any confusion and help you understand your choice once you receive your Voters’ Pamphlet and ballot in the coming weeks.

5 Responses to “R-71 coming up: Understand your choices”

  1. Election officials blocked access to voter registration roles for WAFST to see so they couldn’t pursue voter fraud.

  2. Steven Wright says:

    Thanks for this helpful information!

    I suppose we all will need to educate ourselves on R71, since Secretary Reed did everything in his power to get it qualified. Thank you Mr. Reed for using your discretion to accept illegal petitions and for making sure that 122,000 accepted signatures were only reviewed by temps with 2 hours of training and for refusing any further review even after a sample showed that the temps were making errors 13% of the time.

    R71 wouldn’t have made it without your extra special help!

  3. John Colgan says:

    Would these be the same voter registrations roles that were released to conservative blogger Stephen Sharkansky after the 2004 election? What possible justification can the SoS have for such a blatant double standard?

  4. It is sad to see the comments on this blog written for the sole purpose of expressing personal opinion on the referendum itself and venting frustration towards the Secretary of State. Regardless of how you plan to vote on the issue, the SOS office needs to be applauded for the diligence they put towards this issue.

    Article 1, Section 1 of our State Constitution makes it clear…”All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed”. Above all, we must ensure that the PEOPLE have the final say. Protecting the I&R process must be the number one job of the SOS.

    Lastly, it is the court, not the SOS who is preventing the release of the petitions. Once again, the PEOPLE should be the first consideration and open government is an essential piece of that equation. Let’s hope the courts feel the same way.

  5. John Colgan says:

    I think your seeing things Perez, not a single comment expresses an opinion about Ref-71. What opinions are being expressed about is the sloppy manner in which the verification of signatures was handled by the SoS. This sloppiness is exemplified by the moving of over 200 signatures from accepted to rejected after the referendum was certified and after the SoS defended this certification as diligent and and careful in court.

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