Anti-Gay WA State Referendum Would Make Ballot in Current Count

Last week I reported that anti-gay groups working to repeal Washington state's sweeping "everything but marriage" domestic partners law were losing ground in a petition signature count meant to put Referendum 71 on the ballot.

Sigs Now, there appears to be some confusion regarding the counting process, and momentum may be swinging the other way.

Sounds like a big mess. Slog reports: "Last night, the secretary of state’s office office had reported that
the cumulative error rate was over 13.5 percent. 'The maximum error
rate that they can withstand is 12.43 percent, so they are currently
exceeding that,' spokesman David Ammons said. So it looked like R-71
was on a trajectory to fail to make the ballot.
But now the secretary of state's office is reporting that 11.63 percent
of the signatures are invalid. At this rate, it could make the November
ballot. So what happened?
Shane Hanlin, an assistant director of election for the secretary of
state’s office, says that so-called 'master checkers' have been
reviewing signatures over the past week. Even though daily counts have
been announced (and widely reported by media), these checkers may not
make a final decision on the validity of a signature until days later.
They are authorized to consider the reason a signature was initially
disqualified, check the state database, and move an 'invalid' signature
into the 'valid' category. Hanlin says that the state's five master
checkers have taken this action on least 409 signatures."

R71 It's obviously going to be very close, and likely contested if the confusion continues: "Election officials need to pull this act together—soon. While their
aims for transparency are respectable, the numbers don't even add up
anymore. They cite 409 signatures that have been reversed, but none of
the figures on their website show how they reached that figure. The
final count is slated to be complete by the end of next week; however,
if this slapdash reporting continues, the dispute will be tied up in
court far longer."


  1. Andrew W says

    Here’s the problem – voters. Voters w/ beliefs. Voters with “religious” beliefs.

    Originally (1) in 1998 the “voters” said no “gay marriage,” then after lawsuits were filed, (2) the courts agreed with voters and affirmed no marriage equality for homosexuals (2006). Then in 2007 (3) the Legislature slowly passed a few Domestic Partnerships laws and (4) in 2009 – the Legislature passed the “Everything but Marriage Bill, which pissed off the voters and now (5) the voters are back to cancel ALL the progress to date.

    The voters will win, and it will be their “beliefs” that prevail. Beliefs they inherited from RELIGION. Yet, we do NOTHING to try to CHANGE those beliefs. THEY are the enemy, not the “believers.”

    Until we understand that we will never win a popular vote.

    We MUST learn how to put Equality BEFORE Religion.

  2. Bill says

    Election officials are rigging the election. Everytime they “readjust” the numbers and math the verified signatures go up by a large margin.

  3. Lurleen says

    All the more reason why people should be using the next week wisely by preparing for the ballot. Better safe than sorry. Go to to sign up.

    To preserve the domestic partnership law, vote APPROVED on the November ballot.

    Referendum 71 voters will be asked to approve or reject the domestic partnership law.
    Ballot Title
    Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

    Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

    Should this bill be:

    Approved ___
    Rejected ___

    Ballot Measure Summary
    Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families. DONATE TO WASHINGTON FAMILIES STANDING TOGETHER !