Washington 2013 ballot measures

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Seven ballot measures were certified for the November 5, 2013 ballot in the state of Washington. Of the seven measures, the two initiatives were defeated, two of the advisory questions were approved and three were defeated, as of the official certification on November 26, 2013.

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.[1] 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.[2]

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).[3] However, on October 21, 2013, The Elway Poll released updated polling information (right) showing that the support side's lead shrunk significantly.[4]

Washington 2013 ballot measures
Washington 2013 ballot measures

Historical facts

  • In both 1997 and 2010, there were nine measures on the state ballot.
  • 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:
Measure Position Amount
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

November 5:

Type Title Subject Description Result
ITL Initiative 517 Direct democracy Penalties for harassing petition organizers, limit pre-election litigation, extend signature gathering time Defeatedd
ITL Initiative 522 Business regulation Requires labels on food offered for sale if food is made with genetic material changed Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 3 Taxes Eliminates a leasehold excise tax credit for taxpayers who lease publicly-owned property Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 4 Taxes Imposes an aircraft excise tax on commuter air carriers Defeatedd
AQ Advisory Vote 5 Taxes Extends the insurance premium tax to some insurance for pediatric oral services Approveda
AQ Advisory Vote 6 Taxes Eliminates a retail sales tax exemption for certain telephone and telecommunications services Approveda
AQ Advisory Vote 7 Taxes Extends estate tax on certain property transfers and increased rates for estates over $4,000,000 Defeatedd

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
Initiative 517 $308,339 $620,043
Initiative 522 $8,431,294 $22,009,926

Signature collection costs

See also: 2012 ballot measure petition signature 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.

Washington I-517

  • 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.

Washington I-522

  • Signatures to qualify Initiative 522 for the ballot were collected by Peoples Petitions LLC, among other groups.[6]
  • 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.

Local ballot measures

See also: Local ballot measure elections in 2013

See also


External links