Letters to the Editor

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PETITIONS: Why not require registration?

Letter by Martha Koester, Seattle on Feb. 18, 2011 at 11:20 am with 3 Comments »
February 18, 2011 12:54 pm

Re: “Initiative reform: First, show us the problem” (editorial, 2-17).

I don’t know why anyone’s constitutional right to collect signatures on petitions is violated by requiring registration. In my opinion, people who are not Washington state voters have no such rights.

Nor should they have any rights to anonymity. We certainly don’t let our state legislators submit legislation or cast votes anonymously. Therefore people who set themselves up as citizen legislators, making laws that they expect the rest of us to obey, shouldn’t be allowed to be anonymous either.

Fraud is very common, though difficult to actually prosecute. I myself witnessed paid signature gatherers at Seattle Center last year folding petitions so that the text of the marijuana initiative was visible on one side, but the signature sheet from another petition was on the other. No consequences ensued.

Who calls this democracy?

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  1. “Fraud is very common, though difficult to actually prosecute. I myself witnessed paid signature gatherers at Seattle Center last year folding petitions so that the text of the marijuana initiative was visible on one side, but the signature sheet from another petition was on the other. No consequences ensued.”

    I’m not sure that I follow you.

    Just let folks download an 8×10 signature sheet from the secretary of state web site to send in to the secretary of state. Seems simple to me.

    At any rate, the secretary of state is tasked with checking signatures. I don’t see how registration is going to improve the accuracy of the checking process.

    The charges are just an attempt to place more road blocks in the way to prevent citizens from exercising their constitutional right.

  2. “Who calls this democracy?”

    I do!!!!

  3. I don’t know why anyone’s constitutional right to VOTE is violated by requiring proper ID first.

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