Washington's Initiative 517 soars over first hurdle

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January 24, 2013


By Al Ortiz

OLYMPIA, Washington: Check the first step off the list for proponents of Initiative 517.

On January 23, 2012, the Washington Secretary of State's office stated that the proposal cleared signature verification, sending the initiative to the state legislature.

In addition to the lawmaking body's options of enacting it or sending it to the ballot, the legislature can also send the measure to the ballot with a competing measure. This would allow voters to choose which of the two measures to approve.[1]

Earlier this month, the supporting group turned in signatures a day before the January 4, 2013 deadline. Ballotpedia contacted the Washington Secretary of State's office on January 3, learning that the initiative turned in signatures at 10:00 a.m. PST that day. Reports out of the state said that the initiative's sponsors turned in about 345,000 signatures. Signatures were then reviewed by the Washington Secretary of State's office.[2]

The measure would implement penalties for intimidating, harassing, interfering or retaliating against petition drive efforts for a ballot initiative.[3]

In addition, the measure would require that all initiative efforts that obtain the valid amount of signatures have their proposals placed on the ballot.

Other provisions include:

  • Limit pre-election legal challenges
  • Extend the time given for signatures to be collected for the ballot.

A total of 246,372 valid signatures were needed to place the measure before Washington Legislature.

See also