`Direct democracy’: Initiative cavalcade underway

`Direct democracy’: Initiative cavalcade underway

By Friday’s deadline, we expect to see at least six initiative campaigns submitting hundreds of thousands of petition signatures for a spot on the statewide November election. Six would tie  the modern record set in 2000 for number of initiatives to the people in one year. All-time record, seven, was in 1914, the first year we had the initiative process. (We got Prohibition that year!  See the history here.)

UPDATE: Sponsors of I-1068, legalizing marijuana for adults, have set what they characterize as a tentative appointment to turn in signatures at 4:20 p.m. Friday.  The measure would remove civil and criminal penalties for people 18 or older who “cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.”

The I-1082 campaign, headed by the Building Industry Association of Washington, brought
in nearly 20,000 petitions on Wednesday, with what they estimate are 341,152 signatures.


–photo by Lindsay Pryor

That level of signatures, almost exactly 100,000 more than the bare minimum required (241,153), will permit a 3 percent random sample to secure a place on the ballot.  The measure would allow “three-way” workers’ compensation, with private insurance carriers offering coverage in competition with the state-run program.
This measure was the second of the busy season to be submitted.  Last week, backers of a liquor privatization measure, I-1100, submitted what they estimated at nearly 400,000 signatures.  Tentatively, a random check of signatures is scheduled to begin next Thursday, July 8.
On Thursday, backers of I-1098, the Bill Gates Sr. measure establishing a high-wage earner income tax and reducing other taxes, will turn in signatures, estimated recently at 325,000, at 9 a.m.

On Friday, three campaigns have made appointments: I-1107, repealing a new tax on pop, candy, bottled water and other products, will come in at 8:30 a.m.  Tim Eyman and other backers of I-1053, re-establishing the two-thirds vote requirement for raising taxes in Olympia, have an appointment for 10 a.m.  And a second liquor privatization measure, I-1105, has a 1:30 p.m. appointment.  We have not heard from any other campaigns, including I-1068, legalizing marijuana.

Signatures are delivered to the state Elections Division, 520 Union in Olympia. After being “imaged” by the state Archives, the petitions will be checked at the Thurston County Elections’ ballot-processing center near South Puget Sound Community College near Highway 101 in Tumwater’s Mottman industrial district.

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