The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge to Washington’s policy of releasing initiative and referendum petitions, specifically the Referendum 71 signatures submitted to force a public vote on the “everything but marriage” law three years ago.
Secretary of State Sam Reed said he was pleased with the decision and that it honors the state voters’ commitment to the Public Records Act and transparency in government. Reed said he hopes the challengers will let the decision stand, now that the U.S. District Court and the Circuit Court of Appeals have ruled in the state’s favor. Reed’s comment:
“We believe Washington residents expect open and accountable government, and it was the voters themselves who gave us our strong Public Records Act 40 years ago this year,” Reed said. “I am happy that disclosure of petitions has been without incident, and that the initiative and referendum process is alive and well, with no apparently ‘chilling’ of the process we hold dear. I am glad that we are having civil debate this year over same-sex marriage and other difficult issues. We can disagree agreeably.”
This is the Centennial of the voters approving the initiative, referendum and recall process in Washington.
R-71 passed in 2009 with a 53 percent approval vote, upholding a new law the Legislature had passed for gay (more…)