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Washington Senate Bill 5808 veto referendum (2009)

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Washington Senate Bill 5808 referendum, also known as Washington Referendum 72, was intended by its sponsors to qualify for the November 3, 2009 ballot in Washington, but did not ultimately qualify.

The referendum was an attempt to overturn SB 5808 through Washington's veto referendum process. Jerry Galland, a King County resident, launched a petition drive to collect signatures to force a vote on Senate Bill 5808 in the statewide November 3, 2009 election.[1]

Two days before the July 24, 2009 signature deadline, Galland said, "We are in a position where we do not have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot."[2]

Under SB 5808, if a city, a county and a fire district come to an agreement about annexing a neighborhood, that annexation can happen without a vote of the people who live in the annexed neighborhood.


In mid-June 2009 referendum supporters received approval to circulate petitions. Galland needed to collect 120,577 valid voter signatures by July 25 to qualify the measure for the November 2009 statewide ballot.[3]

In Thurston County Superior Court, in June, Judge Anne Hirsch removed language from the proposed ballot title that referred to fire district annexations being completed under Senate Bill 5808 "without a public vote." Additionally, Galland lost an argument in court that the Association of Washington Cities and fire officials should have no say on the ballot title. Galland argued that they failed to serve him with legal papers on their ballot-title challenge. Hirsch ruled in favor of adopting an explanatory statement proposed by the association and fire officials.[4]


Darlene Fairley sponsored SB 5808 and the Association of Washington Cities lobbied hard for it.[1]

See also