Washington’s Secretary of State says no initiative sponsors met today’s deadline to submit signatures for qualification for the November ballot.
Sponsors would have had to submit 246,372 valid signatures by 5 p.m. today. That means the actual total would need to be higher to accommodate duplicates and signatures from non-voters. Only one sponsor made an appointment to turn in signatures — Initiative 1307 to regulate firearms. But no one showed up and reportedly had only a few hundred signatures gathered anyway.
This will be the first election since 1989 without an initiative to the people on the ballot.
Being an odd-year election, there will be no federal offices on the ballot and no statewide elected officers on the ballot. Three state senate races will appear — including one from the 26th District centered on Gig Harbor — because of resignations.
There will be two ballot measures on the ballot, however. Two initiatives to the Legislature, a different path to the ballot, will appear. Both submitted enough signatures last year but first went before lawmakers who had the option to ignore them, approve them, or send an alternative proposal to the ballot. The Legislature did not approve either measure and did not add an alternative so both will go before voters.
Here is the description by the state Elections Division:
Initiative 517, dubbed the “Protect the Initiative Act,” would set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers and petition-signers; require that all measures receiving sufficient signatures appear on the ballot; and extend time for gathering initiative petition signatures. The measure is sponsored by Tim Eyman, who turned in nearly 347,000 signatures.
Initiative 522, called “The People’s Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale. Chris McManus is I-522’s main sponsor. The initiative sponsors brought in more than 350,000 signatures.