Washington proposed bill would make initiative & referendum signatures public
OLYMPIA, Washington: Today, Rep. Reuven Carlyle said he planned to file a bill for the 2010 legislative session that would make signatures, names and addresses of voters who sign initiatives and referendums public. The bill comes in light of three pending signature privacy cases - Washington Referendum 71 (2009) Tim Eyman's case to block the release of petition signatures, and a Washington State Supreme Court proceeding by Arthur West to compell disclosure of the petitions and a review of the R-71 Ballot Certification. "I'm not sure how our state action might impact things. But I feel it's a vital piece of democracy to take a stand in favor of openness, transparency and access. One would assume a state Legislature's view on an issue holds some consideration for the courts," said Carlyle.
Prior to the November 3, 2009 elections, domestic rights supporters attempted to post the names of the people who signed petitions in support of placing R-71 on the ballot. However, opponents sued in order to block the release of the signatures, citing possible harassment. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide if they will the hear the case in Summer 2010.