By Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
Signatures supporting dozens of initiatives were turned into the Secretary of State’s office by the July 6 deadline. Supporters hope the items will qualify for the November 6 ballot.
It takes 259,622 valid voter signatures to qualify an initiative. The Secretary of State, who administers the election and initiative process, recommends that at least 325,000 signatures be turned in to account for duplicates and invalid signatures.
With fierce competition for voters’ attention these days, it is very difficult to collect enough signatures only by volunteer means. Most campaigns have to enlist the help of paid signature collectors – paid helpers – most of whom come from out of state (California) are a huge consternation for many of my members that get complaints from overly aggressive and sometimes downright rude collectors. These collectors say that signature collection is a freedom of speech right and that they can collect anywhere they like. Unfortunately, police are reluctant to intervene unless someone is physically causing harm.
WRA will be reviewing the filed initiatives for impacts to retailers and possibly taking positions or joining campaigns to either enact or defeat certain measures.
WRA already has voted to support Initiative 1634 – Yes! On Affordable Groceries – which will qualify for the November ballot.
Visit the Secretary of State’s website for a full listing of initiatives: https://www.sos.wa.gov//.