Washington’s Referendum 71 Hangs on This Question


Did all the signatures belong to registered voters?

Gary Randall and Larry Stickney’s Protect Marriage Washington dumped well over 100,000 signatures off with Washington’s Secretary of State, but in order to be considered valid, they needed to belong to registered voters. Except PMW let non-registered citizens sign the ballot cards. Now the marriage equality group Washington Families Standing Together, suing to keep Ref. 71 — which was declared legit, even with invalid signatures — off the November ballot, wants a judge to declare the signature drive invalid.

Unless, of course, letting citizens sign the ballot cards was actually a form of voter registration itself, letting both processes take place at once.

Sec. of State Sam Reed’s office says what happened is the latter scenario — if only because of tradition; it can’t recall any ballot initiative that required signatures to belong to already-registered voters.

Fine. But did everyone show government-issued ID cards? ‘Cause we hear conservatives keep demanding that.

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  • Dick Mills

    The judge that first heard this case (then subsequently dismissed it, without prejudice, because the jurisdiction belonged to another court) said that while Washington state courts had yet to rule on the issue, that other courts in the country had resoundingly agreed that voters must be registered prior to signing a petition. If Washington state follows suit, then the referendum is toast.

  • Lurleen

    Ballots get mailed out in 6 weeks. Washington Families Standing Together needs your help to reach voters all across the state to ensure they vote to Approve Referendum 71. Got to to see how you can help.

    Voters will be asked to approve or reject the domestic partnership law. Vote APPROVED on Referendum 71 to preserve domestic partnerships in Washington.

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