- See also: School bond and tax elections in Washington
Washington State is one of eleven states that has a debt limit protected by the Washington Constitution. Washington mandates that school districts can only take in one percent for general debt and up to five percent for capital outlays without voter approval. Washington State requires a election for all bond issues exceeding three-eights of one percent of taxable property. School districts are treated equally with other units of municipal government in the state's bond issue laws. Bond issues can be used for capital improvements and new construction only. School districts cannot use bonds to retire debt or fund other obligations.
- See also: Laws governing recall in Washington
The citizens of Washington are granted the authority to perform a recall election by Sections 33 and 34 of Article I of the Washington State Constitution to all elective officers of the state of Washington except judges of courts of record.
A petition for recall must include a specified number of valid signatures from registered voters determined as a percentage of total votes cast for all candidates who ran for the office in the most recent election contest. This amounts to:
- 25 percent for state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives; city officers of cities of the first class; school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers in counties of the first, second and third classes,
- 35 percent for officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts, and school districts not otherwise mentioned; and state senators and representatives.
The Spokane County government is looking to change the way initiatives are conducted in their county. One proposed change is that a city attorney would instead write the ballot question that would appear, instead of those petitioning for the initiative. Another proposed change would be that the title of the proposed measure would have to be approved before signatures could be collected. Opponents say this would not give enough time to collect signatures, but the city said they would be allowed 12 months to collect in case the name approval took a while. Supports say that this process is based on the state's process and would rather clarify the issues and ensure ballot language is clear for all voters to understand. Opponents state that the city writing the language of the measure would introduce a bias, but city council members feel it would rather help not hinder the process.