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Confused about referendum choice?

by David Ammons | May 19th, 2009

questions1If sponsors of a referendum on the new domestic partnership law get enough signatures on their petitions, you’ll decide the fate Referendum 71 this fall.

( FYI: R-71 sponsors soon will try to get enough voter signatures to place it on the November ballot. If they get 120,577 valid signatures by July 25, the law will be suspended until we see what the voters say.  If the referendum passes, meaning a majority of voters approve the new law, then it will take effect in December.  If a majority of voters reject it, then it won’t go into effect.)

The format of a referendum, set forth in state law, is that a bill that passed the Legislature is placed before the voters.  Your choice is to either approve the legislation or to reject it. In this case, if you want the new law, Senate Bill 5688, to go into effect, you will vote to approve on your ballot. If you want to overturn the action of the Legislature, you will vote to reject.

Pretty clear. Sponsors of R-71 will want you to vote in the negative, to reject the new law. Conversely, if you want to uphold the measure that Governor Gregoire signed on Monday, you’ll vote to approve.

Bottom line: The choice on the ballot isn’t a yes or no about the viewpoint of the critics of the domestic partner legislation, but an approval or rejection of the bill itself. 

3 Responses to “Confused about referendum choice?”

  1. Will the referendum change any language in SB 5688 or current legislation?

  2. 1) I notice that a Seattle weekly news site is saying that an attempt was made to change the referendum’s title but I seen no indication at the state site or the referendum’s supporters this is true. Did that actually happen? (I know its past time for any challenges now)

    2) FYI: noting that the ‘complete text’ document linked to at the http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/referendum.aspx page for Referendum 71 is NOT the right document, but rather a copy of the one for Referendum 72.

  3. The supporters of Ref 71 withdrew their request to change the title so that they could have petitions out by this past Tuesday. As of today, they say they still do not have petitions printed.

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