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Washington Voters Say No To Initiative On Initiatives

Elizabeth Jenkins

Washington voters have rejected a measure aimed at making it easier to qualify citizen initiatives for the ballot.

The final vote tally was about 40 percent in favor of Initiative 517 and 60 percent against.

Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman issued a written statement saying that without the changes proposed in I-517, as he put it, “only initiatives sponsored by the big guys will make it."

Initiative 517 would have allowed more time for petitioners to collect signatures for an initiative. It would have also set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers or petition-signers.

Retail store owners argued the measure would have required them to allow initiative petitioners on their sidewalks and at entrances of stores.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.