Initiative filing season under way

Initiative filing season under way


Around here, January’s arrival doesn’t mean just a new year, it also means the start of another initiative filing season.

Filing for Initiatives to the People opened Jan. 3. Registered voters can file initiatives here through July 2.

Thirty-seven initiatives have been filed as of Friday morning, 17 of them by initiative king Tim Eyman. Of the 37, 29 have been assigned numbers. Go here to see the initiatives filed so far.

In Washington State, any registered voter may propose new laws through the initiative process. Laws may also be amended or repealed (except the state constitution).

To file an Initiative to the People, an initiative sponsor must:
• Be a registered voter
• Create an online account (to file online)
• Provide the complete text of the initiative in Word or RTF format
• Pay a $5 filing fee (Visa or MasterCard)
• Present a signed affidavit from each sponsor

After filing an initiative, the sponsor needs to gather signatures from at least 246,372 registered voters in order for the measure to be placed on the General Election ballot in the fall. Signature petition sheets are due at the Elections Division by July 2. We suggest sponsors submit at least 325,000 to cover invalid or duplicate signatures. If the initiative is approved by a simple majority of voters, it becomes state law.

Any registered voter interested in filing an initiative is encouraged to read the handbook called “Filing Initiatives and Referenda in Washington State.”

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