by David Ammons | July 20th, 2012
Initiative activist Tim Eyman has secured a spot on the statewide General Election ballot for Initiative 1185, a plan to re-establish a voter mandate for a two-thirds vote in both houses for any taxes passed in Olympia.
Even as Secretary of State Sam Reed was signing the certification for I-1185, state Election Division workers were already at work on checking signatures for I-1240, a plan to authorize a limited number of publicly financed charter schools in Washington. That measure, also widely expected to make the ballot, could be ready by Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
The division’s website tracks the signature checks.
Eyman and his initiative team brought in 320,003 signatures and a full check of a random sample of 9,774 showed that to be sufficient to earn a place on the ballot. The signature check turned up 8,446 valid signatures, 1,310 invalid signatures and 18 pairs of duplicates. That was an error rate of 19.4, slightly higher than the historic average of 18 percent.
This will be the fifth time the tax supermajority issue has been on the ballot, three times with Eyman as the sponsor. Eyman has won the issue twice and before that, voters approved the concept in 1993 and again in 1998. The issue is currently being litigated. As with all initiatives, the Legislature has authority to suspend, abolish or amend voter initiatives by simple majority after two years have elapsed. That has occurred on a number of occasions with the two-thirds majority requirement, and so now Eyman’s strategy is to re-run the initiative every two years so that it’s always in place.
The charter school measure, assuming it qualifies, will be making its fourth appearance on the ballot. The concept was narrowly defeated in 2000 and lost by larger majorities in 1996 and 2004. I-1240 sponsors, acting in an unusually speedy fashion, brought in 357,252 signatures and 10,718 will be checked.
Voters also will decide four other measures:
- Referendum 74, to affirm or reject the new legislation permitting civil marriage for same-sex couples.
- Initiative to the Legislature 502, decriminalizing marijuana for those 18 and older.
- Two noncontroversial constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by lawmakers. SJR 8221 deals with stricter limits on use of bond debt for state projects. SJR 8223 deals with investments by the University of Washington and Washington State University.
Texts and contact info can be found online.