Washington 2013 ballot measures
The initiative drive deadline for initiatives to the legislature was on January 4, 2013. Two initiatives filed signatures by that deadline. When enough signatures are deemed valid for an initiative to the legislature, that initiative is sent to the legislature for review. If the legislature does not enact the proposal, it is then sent to the ballot. Washington's state legislative session began January 14, 2013, and concluded on April 28, 2013, but was followed by two special sessions. The first special legislative session concluded June 11, and the second ended June 29. Both measures were referred to the 2013 ballot.
The signature filing deadline for initiatives to the people was July 5, 2013. A call to the Washington Secretary of State's office confirmed that no signatures were filed by the deadline. As of the deadline, 85 initiatives had been filed, therefore it is unusual that none of these campaigns were able to gather enough signatures by the deadline. Washington ballots have not been void of initiatives to the people since 1989.
Five of the measures on the ballot were advisory questions, which are nonbinding ballot questions. These particular advisory questions were not explicitly sent to the ballot by the legislature but were instead automatically placed on the ballot in compliance with Initiative 960. That initiative required advisory votes to be placed on the ballot any time the legislature raises new taxes, expands existing taxes or eliminates tax breaks.
On September 10, 2013, The Elway Poll put out the following polling information regarding the two Washington 2013 Initiatives to the Legislature(left). However, on October 21, 2013, The Elway Poll released updated polling information (right) showing that the support side's lead shrunk significantly.
- Since 1995, an average 5 measures have appeared on the ballot in Washington. Therefore, 2013 was an above average year. However, it was a low year for initiated state statutes, which, in Washington, include Initiatives to the Legislature and Initiatives to the People.
- Since 1995, 58 of 95 or 61% of Washington ballot measures have been approved.
- Conversely, 37 of 95 or 39% of statewide bond questions have been defeated since 1995.
- Opponents of Initiative 522 set a state record for the most money ever raised in support or opposition of a ballot measure. The following table highlights the five most expensive campaigns for a ballot measure in the state's history:
|Initiative 522 (2013)||Opposition||$22,009,926|
|Initiative 1183 (2011)||Support||$20,115,326|
|Initiative 1107 (2010)||Support||$16,042,629|
|Referendum 74 (2012)||Support||$14,784,287|
|Initiative 1183 (2011)||Opposition||$12,351,656|
On the ballot
|ITL||Initiative 517||Direct democracy||Penalties for harassing petition organizers, limit pre-election litigation, extend signature gathering time|
|ITL||Initiative 522||Business regulation||Requires labels on food offered for sale if food is made with genetic material changed|
|AQ||Advisory Vote 3||Taxes||Eliminates a leasehold excise tax credit for taxpayers who lease publicly-owned property|
|AQ||Advisory Vote 4||Taxes||Imposes an aircraft excise tax on commuter air carriers|
|AQ||Advisory Vote 5||Taxes||Extends the insurance premium tax to some insurance for pediatric oral services|
|AQ||Advisory Vote 6||Taxes||Eliminates a retail sales tax exemption for certain telephone and telecommunications services|
|AQ||Advisory Vote 7||Taxes||Extends estate tax on certain property transfers and increased rates for estates over $4,000,000|
Summary of campaign spending
The opposition campaign for I-522, a measure that would require certain foods containing GMOs to be labeled, raised a record-breaking amount of money. The $22,009,926 that the campaign raked in is the most money that has ever been spent on a ballot measure campaign in the state. Below is a table that summarizes the campaign contributions to both the campaigns for and against Washington's ballot measures:
|Measure||Donations in favor||Donations against|
Signature collection costs
Signatures had to be collected to qualify each of the two initiatives, I-517 and I-522, for the 2013 ballot. Below is a summary of the Cost per Required Signature (CPRS), which is based on how much money was spent by the support campaigns to gather enough signatures to land each measure on the ballot. The "Cost Per Required Signature" metric was used to determine the ultimate costs.
- Signatures to qualify Initiative 517 for the ballot were collected by various groups, including Peoples Petitioning LLC, Citizens in Charge and American Voter Drives.
- The CPRS for I-517 - given that $305,454 was spent on signatures versus a minimum requirement of 246,372 signatures - comes to $1.24 per required signature.
- In 2012, the average CPRS in Washington was $4.80.
- Signatures to qualify Initiative 522 for the ballot were collected by Peoples Petitions LLC, among other groups.
- The CPRS for I-522 - given that $407,747 was spent on signatures versus a minimum requirement of 246,372 signatures - comes to $1.66 per required signature.
- In 2012, the average CPRS in Washington was $4.80.
Local ballot measures
- See also: Local ballot measure elections in 2013
- Washington State Legislature home page
- Washington Secretary of State, "General Information: No initiative to the people will be on ballot this fall," accessed on July 9, 2013
- Seattle Met, "Elway Poll: Eyman Initiative, GMO Labeling Measure Hold Big Leads," September 10, 2013
- Elway Research, Inc., "The Elway Poll," accessed October 22, 2013
- Public Disclosure Commission, "Inkind Contributions for: PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON INITIATIVES," accessed October 1, 2013
- Public Disclosure Commission, "Expenditures for Label it WA," accessed October 1, 2013