How citizens may attempt a defeat of Initiatives to the people before it gets on the ballot.

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Washingtonians this is specific to us, but is relevant to all.
Summary:

After filing an initiative with the Secretary of State the office of the Code Reviser has seven (7) working days to review and return the initiative to the sponsor with recommended changes and a certificate of review.

After the Code Reviser returns the initiative, the sponsor has 15 working days to amend and file the final draft of the measure, accompanied by the Code Reviser’s Certificate of Review, with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will assign a serial number and forward to the Attorney General.

The Attorney General, upon receipt of the final draft of the ballot measure has five (5) working days to formulate and return a ballot title and a summary to the Secretary of State and the sponsor. This is the information that is published in the voter pamphlet. This is usually the first and sometimes only information less informed voters see before casting a vote.

IMPORTANT PART !!!!!!!

Any person dissatisfied with either the ballot title or summary prepared by the Attorney General may seek judicial review of those statements by petitioning the Thurston County Superior Court in Olympia. Such action must be taken within five (5) working days of the filing of those statements with the Secretary of State and the court is required to expeditiously review the statements and render a decision within five (5) days. The decision of the court is final.

So…..the average Joe citizen may protest the “ballot title” or the “summary” NOT the intent. There are three items to pay particular attention to. These are detailed in the long winded explanation at “assignment of ballot tittle”. We must be careful in the sense that anything outside the bounds of the tittle or summary will likely be adjudicated in favor of the sponsor. What I believe we should be looking for is a clearly ambiguous title or summary. A protest of unconstitutional will not hold water in this case.

Start thinking about this in the event it comes to fruition. Also do not forget there are several companion bills in the Senate to stay on top of.

~Whitney

LOOONG Winded Explanation follows;
Elections and Voting

Initiatives and Referenda Initiatives & Referenda - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State

Filing Handbook
https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/Initiative and Referenda Manual.pdf

The Initiative
The initiative process is the direct power of the voters to enact new laws or change existing laws. It allows the electorate to petition to place proposed legislation on the ballot. The initiative’s only limitation is that it cannot be used to amend the state constitution.


Who can propose an initiative?
Any registered voter, acting individually or on behalf of an organization, may propose legislation to create a new state law or amend or repeal existing statutes.
There are two types of initiatives; in this case we are concerned with Initiatives to the People.

Initiatives to the People, if certified to have sufficient signatures are submitted for a vote of the people at the next state general election. Initiatives submitted to the people require a simple majority of voter approval to become law.

Simple majority is really a numbers game the key here is mobilizing people to vote


Filing an initiative measure
File initiative measures with the Secretary of State online at
Filing an Initiative - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State

Sponsors filing an initiative with the Secretary of State must:

• Create a sponsor account with login (multiple initiatives may be filed under this sponsor account);

• Upload a Word Doc or RTF version of the full text of the initiative;

• Pay a five dollar fee (either with Visa or MasterCard or by submitting a check or cash for the amount); and,

• Provide a signed affidavit from each sponsor declaring that all sponsors are registered voters in the state of Washington to the Secretary of State. Scanned images of signed affidavits are accepted. (See affidavit samples at the end of this booklet.)

To get your initiative on the ballot, the sponsor of the initiative must first circulate the complete text of the proposal among voters and obtain a number of legal voter signatures equal to eight (8) percent of the number of votes cast for the office of Governor at the last regular gubernatorial election.


To be certified, petitions must:

  • contain the signatures of at least 259,622 registered voters.
  • be submitted no later than 5:00 pm on July 7, 2017.
  • It is recommended that sponsors submit at least 325,000 signatures to allow for invalid signatures.
Timelines
Initiatives and referenda must be filed with the Secretary of State during the following periods:

Initiatives to the People must be filed within 10 months prior to the next state general election, and the signature petition sheets must be submitted not less than 4 months before such general election.

For specific dates of initiative and referendum deadlines, check the online Election Calendar at Page Not Found - Office - WA Secretary of State or contact the Secretary of State’s office at (800) 448-

4881.


Filing with the Public Disclosure Commission
Law stipulates that any person, organization or committee which expects to receive funds
or make expenditures in an effort to support or oppose any initiative or referendum must register with the Commission and file certain financial reports. The sponsor of an initiative or referendum should contact the Commission in conjunction with the preliminary filing of the measure.


Nuts and bolts, getting it done.
Immediately after filing an initiative with the Secretary of State the office of the Code Reviser is provided a copy. The Code Reviser must, within seven (7) working days, perform the following:

• Review the draft for technical errors and style;

• Advise the sponsor of any potential conflicts between the proposal and existing statutes; and

• Return the proposal to the sponsor with any recommended changes and the Certificate of Review.


All changes made by the Code Reviser are advisory and are subject to approval by the sponsor.

The sponsor has 15 working days after the initial filing of the initiative to the Code Reviser to file the final draft of the measure, accompanied by the Code Reviser’s Certificate of Review, with

the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will assign a serial number to the proposal and forward the initiative measure to the office of the Attorney General for formulation of the ballot title and summary. Referendum measures are not reviewed by the Code Reviser; they are immediately assigned a serial number and transmitted to the Attorney General.





Assignment of ballot title

Upon receipt of the final draft of the ballot measure, the Attorney General has five (5) working days to formulate and return a ballot title and a summary to the Secretary of State and the sponsor.

The ballot title consists of three parts:

Part 1. A statement of the subject of the petition that is:

• No more than 10 words;

• Sufficiently precise to give notice of the measure’s subject matter; and

• Sufficiently broad to reflect the subject of the measure.


Part 2. A concise description of the measure that is:

• No more than 30 words;

• A true and impartial description of the measure’s essential content;

• Phrased to clearly identify the measure to be voted on; and

• Without prejudice for or against the measure.


Part 3. A question that clearly defines the intent of the measure.


The ballot summary must be no more than 75 words. Once completed by the Attorney General, the wording of the ballot title will be transmitted electronically to the sponsor and the Secretary of State.


Any person dissatisfied with either the ballot title or summary prepared by the Attorney General may seek judicial review of those statements by petitioning the Thurston County Superior Court in Olympia. Such action must be taken within five (5) working days of the filing of those statements with the Secretary of State and the court is required to expeditiously review the statements and render a decision within five (5) days. The decision of the court is final.

/End
 
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Wow, there is a lot to this process and I for one will support any initiative in favor of firearms rights.
I would also like to see one that states "the constitutional rights of others cannot be impaired by an initiative in Washington state".
 

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