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Campaign to put gay marriage on ballot says it has over 120,000 signatures

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on May 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
May 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Same-sex marriage opponents are nearing the number of signatures they need to put a referendum on the November ballot to overturn the Legislature’s marriage law.

The group Preserve Marriage Washington says it has collected 121,876 signatures on its petitions.

If they were all valid, that would be enough. They need 120,577 valid signatures to earn a spot on the ballot. But the state elections office says there’s an average error rate of 18 percent because of duplicate and invalid signatures, and advises referendum campaigns to gather at least 150,000 just to be safe.

The group has until June 6 to turn in the signatures.

Even though gay marriage opponents are currently pushing Referendum 74, if it gets on the ballot, a vote to “approve” vote will uphold the law recognizing same-sex marriage; a vote to “reject” will overturn the law.

(Complicating matters further, an outfit calling itself Protect Marriage Washington is spearheading Initiative 1192. It has until July 6 but needs twice the number of signatures to get on the ballot. If it does, the script is flipped: a “yes”  vote would ban same-sex marriage and define marriage as between a man and a woman only.)

UPDATE 5/30: Updated to replace “yes” and “no” with the ballot terms, “approve” and “reject.”

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