I-1351 qualifies for WA ballot

I-1351 qualifies for WA ballot


Secretary of State Kim Wyman on Friday certified an initiative aiming to lower class sizes in Washington public schools. The measure, Initiative 1351, will be placed on the statewide ballot this fall after a check this week determined it has enough signatures to qualify.

A team of 10 signature checkers finished their work late Thursday afternoon after beginning Monday morning.

For an initiative to qualify for the statewide ballot, sponsors must submit at least 246,372 valid signatures, equal to 8 percent of the votes cast for Governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. Sponsors are encouraged to turn in an additional 25 percent as a buffer in case of invalid signatures. According to Elections Division officials, I-1351 sponsors brought in 348,072 signatures, allowing for a random 3 percent check of the total signatures, or 10,442.

Of the 10,512 signatures that actually were reviewed, 9,606 were accepted, 737 were not found, 153 had no match, nine were duplicates and seven had missing signatures. The error rate was 11.37 percent. The average error rate is 18 percent.

This isn’t the first time Washington voters have pondered an initiative that sought to lower class sizes. In 2000, voters approved a similar measure, I-728, with 71 percent voting for it. However, the Legislature has suspended that class-size initiative several times in recent years while grappling with difficult state budgets.

I-1351 is the only Initiative to the People on the fall ballot this year. Two initiatives to the Legislature also will appear. Both I-591 and I-594 deal with background checks for gun purchases.

Information on all three measures may be found here on the Elections Division webpage.

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