Chapter 29A.72 RCW

STATE INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM

Sections

29A.72.010Filing proposed measures with secretary of state.
29A.72.020Review of proposed initiativesCertificate required.
29A.72.025Fiscal impact statements.
29A.72.030Time for filing various types.
29A.72.040NumberingTransmittal to attorney general.
29A.72.050Ballot titleFormulation, ballot display.
29A.72.060Ballot title and summary by attorney general.
29A.72.070Ballot title and summaryNotice.
29A.72.080Ballot title and summaryAppeal to superior court.
29A.72.090Ballot title and summaryMailed to proponents and other personsAppearance on petitions.
29A.72.100PetitionsPaperSizeContents.
29A.72.110Petitions to legislatureForm.
29A.72.120Petitions to peopleForm.
29A.72.130Referendum petitionsForm.
29A.72.140Warning statementFurther requirements.
29A.72.150PetitionsSignaturesNumber necessary.
29A.72.160PetitionsTime for filing.
29A.72.170PetitionsAcceptance or rejection by secretary of state.
29A.72.180PetitionsReview of refusal to file.
29A.72.190PetitionsAppellate review.
29A.72.200PetitionsDestruction on final refusal.
29A.72.210PetitionsConsolidation into volumes.
29A.72.230PetitionsVerification and canvass of signatures, observersStatistical samplingInitiatives to legislature, certification of.
29A.72.240Count of signaturesReview.
29A.72.250Initiatives and referenda to the peopleCertificates of sufficiency.
29A.72.260Rejected initiatives to legislature.
29A.72.270Alternatives to initiatives to the legislature.
29A.72.280Concise description for alternative to initiative to the legislature.
29A.72.283Advisory vote on tax legislationShort description.
29A.72.285Advisory vote on tax legislationShort description filing and transmittal.
29A.72.290Printing ballot titles and short descriptions on ballotsSeparate headings.


29A.72.010
Filing proposed measures with secretary of state.

If any legal voter of the state, either individually or on behalf of an organization, desires to petition the legislature to enact a proposed measure, or submit a proposed initiative measure to the people, or order that a referendum of all or part of any act, bill, or law, passed by the legislature be submitted to the people, he or she shall file with the secretary of state:
(1) A legible copy of the measure proposed, or the act or part of such act on which a referendum is desired;
(2) A signed affidavit, or electronic submission, that the sponsor is a registered voter; and
(3) A filing fee prescribed under RCW 43.07.120.
[ 2015 c 72 § 10; 2003 c 111 § 1802; 1982 c 116 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.010. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 1, part; RRS § 5397, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.010.]



29A.72.020
Review of proposed initiatives—Certificate required.

Upon receipt of a proposed initiative measure, and before giving it a serial number, the secretary of state shall submit a copy thereof to the office of the code reviser and give notice to the sponsor of such transmittal. Upon receipt of the measure, the assistant code reviser to whom it has been assigned may confer with the sponsor and shall within seven working days from its receipt, review the proposal and recommend to the sponsor such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. The recommendations of the code reviser's office are advisory only, and the sponsor may accept or reject them in whole or in part. The code reviser shall issue a certificate of review certifying that he or she has reviewed the measure and that any recommendations have been communicated to the sponsor. The certificate must be issued whether or not the sponsor accepts such recommendations. Within fifteen working days after notification of submittal of the proposed measure to the code reviser's office, the sponsor, if he or she desires to proceed with sponsorship, shall file the measure together with the certificate of review with the secretary of state for assignment of a serial number, and the secretary of state shall then submit to the code reviser's office a certified copy of the measure filed. Upon submission of the proposal to the secretary of state for assignment of a serial number, the secretary of state shall refuse to make such assignment unless the proposal is accompanied by a certificate of review.

NOTES:

Legislative finding1973 c 122: "The legislature finds that the initiative process reserving to the people the power to propose bills, laws and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, is finding increased popularity with citizens of our state. The exercise of this power concomitant with the power of the legislature requires coordination to avoid the duplication and confusion of laws. This legislation is enacted especially to facilitate the operation of the initiative process." [ 1973 c 122 § 1.]



29A.72.025
Fiscal impact statements.

The office of financial management, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for each of the following state ballot measures: (1) An initiative to the people that is certified to the ballot; (2) an initiative to the legislature that will appear on the ballot; (3) an alternative measure appearing on the ballot that the legislature proposes to an initiative to the legislature; (4) a referendum bill referred to voters by the legislature; and (5) a referendum measure appearing on the ballot. Fiscal impact statements must be written in clear and concise language, avoid legal and technical terms when possible, and be filed with the secretary of state no later than the tenth day of August. Fiscal impact statements may include easily understood graphics.
A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters. Where appropriate, a fiscal impact statement may include both estimated dollar amounts and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into context. A fiscal impact statement must include both a summary of not to exceed one hundred words and a more detailed statement that includes the assumptions that were made to develop the fiscal impacts.
Fiscal impact statements must be available online from the secretary of state's web site and included in the state voters' pamphlet. Additional information may be posted on the web site of the office of financial management.

NOTES:

Effective date2004 c 266: See note following RCW 29A.04.575.



29A.72.030
Time for filing various types.

Initiative measures proposed to be submitted to the people must be filed with the secretary of state within ten months prior to the election at which they are to be submitted, and the signature petitions must be filed with the secretary of state not less than four months before the next general statewide election.
Initiative measures proposed to be submitted to the legislature must be filed with the secretary of state within ten months prior to the next regular session of the legislature at which they are to be submitted, and the signature petitions must be filed with the secretary of state not less than ten days before such regular session of the legislature.
A referendum measure petition ordering that any act or part of an act passed by the legislature be referred to the people must be filed with the secretary of state within ninety days after the final adjournment of the legislative session at which the act was passed. It may be submitted at the next general statewide election or at a special election ordered by the legislature.
A proposed initiative or referendum measure may be filed no earlier than the opening of the secretary of state's office for business pursuant to RCW 42.04.060 on the first day filings are permitted, and any initiative or referendum petition must be filed not later than the close of business on the last business day in the specified period for submission of signatures. If a filing deadline falls on a Saturday, the office of the secretary of state must be open for the transaction of business under this section from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on that Saturday.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1804; 1987 c 161 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.020. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 § 1, part; RRS § 5397, part. (ii) 1913 c 138 § 6, part; RRS § 5402, part. (iii) 1913 c 138 § 5, part; RRS § 5401, part. (iv) 1913 c 138 § 7, part; RRS § 5403, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.020.]

NOTES:

Initiative, referendum, time for filing: State Constitution Art. 2 § 1 (a) and (d) (Amendment 7).
PetitionsTime for filing: RCW 29A.72.160.



29A.72.040
Numbering—Transmittal to attorney general.

The secretary of state shall give a serial number to each initiative, referendum bill, referendum measure, or measure for an advisory vote of the people, using a separate series for initiatives to the legislature, initiatives to the people, referendum bills, referendum measures, and measures for an advisory vote of the people, and forthwith transmit one copy of the measure proposed bearing its serial number to the attorney general. Thereafter a measure shall be known and designated on all petitions, ballots, and proceedings as "Initiative Measure No. . . . .," "Referendum Bill No. . . . .," "Referendum Measure No. . . . .," or "Advisory Vote No. . . . .."
[2008 c 1 § 7 (Initiative Measure No. 960, approved November 6, 2007); 2003 c 111 § 1805; 1982 c 116 § 3; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.030. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 1, part; RRS § 5397, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.030.]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentConstructionSeverabilitySubheadings and part headings not lawShort titleEffective date2008 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 960): See notes following RCW 43.135.031.



29A.72.050
Ballot title—Formulation, ballot display.

(1) The ballot title for an initiative to the people, an initiative to the legislature, a referendum bill, or a referendum measure consists of: (a) A statement of the subject of the measure; (b) a concise description of the measure; and (c) a question in the form prescribed in this section for the ballot measure in question. The statement of the subject of a measure must be sufficiently broad to reflect the subject of the measure, sufficiently precise to give notice of the measure's subject matter, and not exceed ten words. The concise description must contain no more than thirty words, be a true and impartial description of the measure's essential contents, clearly identify the proposition to be voted on, and not, to the extent reasonably possible, create prejudice either for or against the measure.
(2) For an initiative to the people, or for an initiative to the legislature for which the legislature has not proposed an alternative, the ballot title must be displayed on the ballot substantially as follows:
"Initiative Measure No. . . . concerns (statement of subject). This measure would (concise description). Should this measure be enacted into law?
Yes . . . .
No  . . . .
(3) For an initiative to the legislature for which the legislature has proposed an alternative, the ballot title must be displayed on the ballot substantially as follows:
"Initiative Measure Nos. . . . and . . .B concern (statement of subject).
Initiative Measure No. . . . would (concise description).
As an alternative, the legislature has proposed Initiative Measure No. . . .B, which would (concise description).
1. Should either of these measures be enacted into law?
Yes . . . .
No  . . . .
2. Regardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?
Measure No. . . . .
or
Measure No. . . . .
(4) For a referendum bill submitted to the people by the legislature, the ballot issue must be displayed on the ballot substantially as follows:
"The legislature has passed . . . . Bill No. . . . concerning (statement of subject). This bill would (concise description). Should this bill be:
Approved . . . .
Rejected . . . .
(5) For a referendum measure by state voters on a bill the legislature has passed, the ballot issue must be displayed on the ballot substantially as follows:
"The legislature passed . . . Bill No. . . . concerning (statement of subject) and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill. This bill would (concise description). Should this bill be:
Approved . . . .
Rejected . . . .
(6) The legislature may specify the statement of subject or concise description, or both, in a referendum bill that it refers to the people. The legislature may specify the concise description for an alternative it submits for an initiative to the legislature. If the legislature fails to specify these matters, the attorney general shall prepare the material that was not specified. The statement of subject and concise description as so provided must be included as part of the ballot title unless changed on appeal.
The attorney general shall specify the statement of subject and concise description for an initiative to the people, an initiative to the legislature, and a referendum measure. The statement of subject and concise description as so provided must be included as part of the ballot title unless changed on appeal.

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: "Part headings used in this act are not part of the law." [ 2000 c 197 § 17.]



29A.72.060
Ballot title and summary by attorney general.

Within five days after the receipt of an initiative or referendum the attorney general shall formulate the ballot title, or portion of the ballot title that the legislature has not provided, required by RCW 29A.72.050 and a summary of the measure, not to exceed seventy-five words, and transmit the serial number for the measure, complete ballot title, and summary to the secretary of state. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are not counted in calculating the time limits in this section.

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: See note following RCW 29A.72.050.
SeverabilityEffective date1993 c 256: See notes following RCW 29A.84.280.
Ballot titles to other state and local measures: RCW 29A.36.020 through 29A.36.090.



29A.72.070
Ballot title and summary—Notice.

Upon the filing of the ballot title and summary for a state initiative or referendum measure in the office of secretary of state, the secretary of state shall notify by telephone and by mail, and, if requested, by other electronic means, the person proposing the measure, the prime sponsor of a referendum bill or alternative to an initiative to the legislature, the chief clerk of the house of representatives, the secretary of the senate, and any other individuals who have made written request for such notification of the exact language of the ballot title and summary.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1808. Prior: 2000 c 197 § 3; 1982 c 116 § 5; 1973 1st ex.s. c 118 § 3; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.050; prior: 1913 c 138 § 3, part; RRS § 5399, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.050.]

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: See note following RCW 29A.72.050.



29A.72.080
Ballot title and summary—Appeal to superior court.

Any persons, including the attorney general or either or both houses of the legislature, dissatisfied with the ballot title or summary for a state initiative or referendum may, within five days from the filing of the ballot title in the office of the secretary of state, appeal to the superior court of Thurston county by petition setting forth the measure, the ballot title or summary, and their objections to the ballot title or summary and requesting amendment of the ballot title or summary by the court. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are not counted in calculating the time limits contained in this section.
A copy of the petition on appeal together with a notice that an appeal has been taken shall be served upon the secretary of state, upon the attorney general, and upon the person proposing the measure if the appeal is initiated by someone other than that person. Upon the filing of the petition on appeal or at the time to which the hearing may be adjourned by consent of the appellant, the court shall accord first priority to examining the proposed measure, the ballot title or summary, and the objections to that ballot title or summary, may hear arguments, and shall, within five days, render its decision and file with the secretary of state a certified copy of such ballot title or summary as it determines will meet the requirements of RCW 29A.72.060. The decision of the superior court shall be final. Such appeal shall be heard without costs to either party.
[ 2013 c 11 § 73; 2003 c 111 § 1809. Prior: 2000 c 197 § 4; 1982 c 116 § 6; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.060; prior: 1913 c 138 § 3, part; RRS § 5399, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.060.]

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: See note following RCW 29A.72.050.



29A.72.090
Ballot title and summary—Mailed to proponents and other persons—Appearance on petitions.

When the ballot title and summary are finally established, the secretary of state shall file the instrument establishing it with the proposed measure and transmit a copy thereof by mail to the person proposing the measure, the chief clerk of the house of representatives, the secretary of the senate, and to any other individuals who have made written request for such notification. Thereafter such ballot title shall be the title of the measure in all petitions, ballots, and other proceedings in relation thereto. The summary shall appear on all petitions directly following the ballot title.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1810. Prior: 2000 c 197 § 5; 1982 c 116 § 7; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.070; prior: 1913 c 138 § 4, part; RRS § 5400, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.070.]

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: See note following RCW 29A.72.050.



29A.72.100
Petitions—Paper—Size—Contents.

The person proposing the measure shall print blank petitions upon single sheets of paper of good writing quality (including but not limited to newsprint) not less than eleven inches in width and not less than fourteen inches in length. Each petition at the time of circulating, signing, and filing with the secretary of state must consist of not more than one sheet with numbered lines for not more than twenty signatures, with the prescribed warning and title, be in the form required by RCW 29A.72.110, 29A.72.120, or 29A.72.130, and have a readable, full, true, and correct copy of the proposed measure printed on the reverse side of the petition.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1811; 1982 c 116 § 8; 1973 1st ex.s. c 118 § 4; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.080. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 § 4, part; RRS § 5400, part. (ii) 1913 c 138 § 9; RRS § 5405. Formerly RCW 29.79.080.]



29A.72.110
Petitions to legislature—Form.

Petitions for proposing measures for submission to the legislature at its next regular session must be substantially in the following form:
The warning prescribed by RCW 29A.72.140; followed by:
INITIATIVE PETITION FOR SUBMISSION TO THE LEGISLATURE
To the Honorable . . . . . ., Secretary of State of the State of Washington:
We, the undersigned citizens and legal voters of the State of Washington, respectfully direct that this petition and the proposed measure known as Initiative Measure No. . . . . and entitled (here set forth the established ballot title of the measure), a full, true, and correct copy of which is printed on the reverse side of this petition, be transmitted to the legislature of the State of Washington at its next ensuing regular session, and we respectfully petition the legislature to enact said proposed measure into law; and each of us for himself or herself says: I have personally signed this petition; I am a legal voter of the State of Washington in the city (or town) and county written after my name, my residence address is correctly stated, and I have knowingly signed this petition only once.
The following declaration must be printed on the reverse side of the petition:
I, . . . . . . . . . . . ., swear or affirm under penalty of law that I circulated this sheet of the foregoing petition, and that, to the best of my knowledge, every person who signed this sheet of the foregoing petition knowingly and without any compensation or promise of compensation willingly signed his or her true name and that the information provided therewith is true and correct. I further acknowledge that under chapter 29A.84 RCW, forgery of signatures on this petition constitutes a class C felony, and that offering any consideration or gratuity to any person to induce them to sign a petition is a gross misdemeanor, such violations being punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
RCW 9A.46.020 applies to any conduct constituting harassment against a petition signature gatherer. This penalty does not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law.
The petition must include a place for each petitioner to sign and print his or her name, and the address, city, and county at which he or she is registered to vote.
[ 2005 c 239 § 1; 2003 c 111 § 1812; 1982 c 116 § 9; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.090. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 5, part; RRS § 5401, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.090.]

NOTES:

Effective date2005 c 239: "This act takes effect January 1, 2006." [ 2005 c 239 § 4.]



29A.72.120
Petitions to people—Form.

Petitions for proposing measures for submission to the people for their approval or rejection at the next ensuing general election must be substantially in the following form:
The warning prescribed by RCW 29A.72.140; followed by:
INITIATIVE PETITION FOR SUBMISSION TO THE PEOPLE
To the Honorable . . . . . ., Secretary of State of the State of Washington:
We, the undersigned citizens and legal voters of the State of Washington, respectfully direct that the proposed measure known as Initiative Measure No. . . . ., entitled (here insert the established ballot title of the measure), a full, true and correct copy of which is printed on the reverse side of this petition, be submitted to the legal voters of the State of Washington for their approval or rejection at the general election to be held on the . . . . . day of November, (year); and each of us for himself or herself says: I have personally signed this petition; I am a legal voter of the State of Washington, in the city (or town) and county written after my name, my residence address is correctly stated, and I have knowingly signed this petition only once.
The following declaration must be printed on the reverse side of the petition:
I, . . . . . . . . . . . ., swear or affirm under penalty of law that I circulated this sheet of the foregoing petition, and that, to the best of my knowledge, every person who signed this sheet of the foregoing petition knowingly and without any compensation or promise of compensation willingly signed his or her true name and that the information provided therewith is true and correct. I further acknowledge that under chapter 29A.84 RCW, forgery of signatures on this petition constitutes a class C felony, and that offering any consideration or gratuity to any person to induce them to sign a petition is a gross misdemeanor, such violations being punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
RCW 9A.46.020 applies to any conduct constituting harassment against a petition signature gatherer. This penalty does not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law.
The petition must include a place for each petitioner to sign and print his or her name, and the address, city, and county at which he or she is registered to vote.
[ 2005 c 239 § 2; 2003 c 111 § 1813; 1982 c 116 § 10; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.100. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 6, part; RRS § 5402, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.100.]

NOTES:

Effective date2005 c 239: See note following RCW 29A.72.110.



29A.72.130
Referendum petitions—Form.

Petitions ordering that acts or parts of acts passed by the legislature be referred to the people at the next ensuing general election, or special election ordered by the legislature, must be substantially in the following form:
The warning prescribed by RCW 29A.72.140; followed by:
PETITION FOR REFERENDUM
To the Honorable . . . . . ., Secretary of State of the State of Washington:
We, the undersigned citizens and legal voters of the State of Washington, respectfully order and direct that Referendum Measure No. . . . . ., filed to revoke a (or part or parts of a) bill that (concise statement required by RCW 29A.72.050) and that was passed by the . . . . . . legislature of the State of Washington at the last regular (special) session of said legislature, shall be referred to the people of the state for their approval or rejection at the regular (special) election to be held on the . . . . day of November, (year); and each of us for himself or herself says: I have personally signed this petition; I am a legal voter of the State of Washington, in the city (or town) and county written after my name, my residence address is correctly stated, and I have knowingly signed this petition only once.
The following declaration must be printed on the reverse side of the petition:
I, . . . . . . . . . . . ., swear or affirm under penalty of law that I circulated this sheet of the foregoing petition, and that, to the best of my knowledge, every person who signed this sheet of the foregoing petition knowingly and without any compensation or promise of compensation willingly signed his or her true name and that the information provided therewith is true and correct. I further acknowledge that under chapter 29A.84 RCW, forgery of signatures on this petition constitutes a class C felony, and that offering any consideration or gratuity to any person to induce them to sign a petition is a gross misdemeanor, such violations being punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.
RCW 9A.46.020 applies to any conduct constituting harassment against a petition signature gatherer. This penalty does not preclude the victim from seeking any other remedy otherwise available under law.
The petition must include a place for each petitioner to sign and print his or her name, and the address, city, and county at which he or she is registered to vote.

NOTES:

Effective date2005 c 239: See note following RCW 29A.72.110.
SeverabilityEffective date1993 c 256: See notes following RCW 29A.84.280.



29A.72.140
Warning statement—Further requirements.

The word "warning" and the following warning statement regarding signing petitions must appear on petitions as prescribed by this title and must be printed on each petition sheet such that they occupy not less than four square inches of the front of the petition sheet.
WARNING
Every person who signs this petition with any other than his or her true name, knowingly signs more than one of these petitions, signs this petition when he or she is not a legal voter, or makes any false statement on this petition may be punished by fine or imprisonment or both.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date1993 c 256: See notes following RCW 29A.84.280.



29A.72.150
Petitions—Signatures—Number necessary.

When the person proposing any initiative measure has obtained signatures of legal voters equal to or exceeding eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election prior to the submission of the signatures for verification, or when the person or organization demanding any referendum of an act or part of an act of the legislature has obtained a number of signatures of legal voters equal to or exceeding four percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election prior to the submission of the signatures for verification, the petition containing the signatures may be submitted to the secretary of state for filing.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1816; 1982 c 116 § 12; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.120. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 11, part; RRS § 5407, part. See also State Constitution Art. 2 § 1A (Amendment 30), (L. 1955, p. 1860, S.J.R. No. 4). Formerly RCW 29.79.120.]



29A.72.160
Petitions—Time for filing.

The time for submitting initiative or referendum petitions to the secretary of state for filing is as follows:
(1) A referendum petition ordering and directing that the whole or some part or parts of an act passed by the legislature be referred to the people for their approval or rejection at the next ensuing general election or a special election ordered by the legislature, must be submitted not more than ninety days after the final adjournment of the session of the legislature which passed the act;
(2) An initiative petition proposing a measure to be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at the next ensuing general election, must be submitted not less than four months before the date of such election;
(3) An initiative petition proposing a measure to be submitted to the legislature at its next ensuing regular session must be submitted not less than ten days before the commencement of the session.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1817. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.79.140; prior: 1913 c 138 § 12, part; RRS § 5408, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.140.]

NOTES:

Initiative, referendum, time for filing: State Constitution Art. 2 § 1 (a) and (d) (Amendment 7).
Measures, petitions, time for filing various types: RCW 29A.72.030.



29A.72.170
Petitions—Acceptance or rejection by secretary of state.

The secretary of state may refuse to file any initiative or referendum petition being submitted upon any of the following grounds:
(1) That the petition does not contain the information required by RCW 29A.72.110, 29A.72.120, or 29A.72.130.
(2) That the petition clearly bears insufficient signatures.
(3) That the time within which the petition may be filed has expired.
In case of such refusal, the secretary of state shall endorse on the petition the word "submitted" and the date, and retain the petition pending appeal.
If none of the grounds for refusal exists, the secretary of state must accept and file the petition.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1818; 1982 c 116 § 13; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.150. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 § 11, part; RRS § 5407, part. (ii) 1913 c 138 § 12, part; RRS § 5408, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.150.]



29A.72.180
Petitions—Review of refusal to file.

If the secretary of state refuses to file an initiative or referendum petition when submitted for filing, the persons submitting it for filing may, within ten days after the refusal, apply to the superior court of Thurston county for an order requiring the secretary of state to bring the petitions before the court, and for a writ of mandate to compel the secretary of state to file it. The application takes precedence over other cases and matters and must be speedily heard and determined.
If the court issues the citation, and determines that the petition is legal in form and apparently contains the requisite number of signatures and was submitted for filing within the time prescribed in the Constitution, it shall issue its mandate requiring the secretary of state to file it as of the date of submission for filing.
The decision of the superior court granting a writ of mandate is final.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1819; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.160. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 13, part; RRS § 5409, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.160.]

NOTES:

Initiative, referendum, time for filing: State Constitution Art. 2 § 1 (a) and (d) (Amendment 7).



29A.72.190
Petitions—Appellate review.

The decision of the superior court refusing to grant a writ of mandate may be reviewed by the supreme court within five days after the decision of the superior court. The review must be considered an emergency matter of public concern, and be heard and determined with all convenient speed. If the supreme court decides that the petitions are legal in form and apparently contain the requisite number of signatures of legal voters, and were filed within the time prescribed in the Constitution, it shall issue its mandate directing the secretary of state to file the petition as of the date of submission.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1820; 1988 c 202 § 28; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.170. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 13, part; RRS § 5409, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.170.]

NOTES:

Rules of court: Writ procedure superseded by RAP 2.1(b), 2.2, 18.22.
Severability1988 c 202: See note following RCW 2.24.050.



29A.72.200
Petitions—Destruction on final refusal.

If no appeal is taken from the refusal of the secretary of state to file a petition within the time prescribed, or if an appeal is taken and the secretary of state is not required to file the petition by the mandate of either the superior or the supreme court, the secretary of state shall destroy it.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1821. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.79.180; prior: 1913 c 138 § 13, part; RRS § 5409, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.180.]



29A.72.210
Petitions—Consolidation into volumes.

If the secretary of state accepts and files an initiative or referendum petition upon its being submitted for filing or if he or she is required to file it by the court, he or she shall, in the presence of the person submitting such petition for filing if he or she desires to be present, arrange and assemble the sheets containing the signatures into such volumes as will be most convenient for verification and canvassing and shall consecutively number the volumes and stamp the date of filing on each volume.



29A.72.230
Petitions—Verification and canvass of signatures, observers—Statistical sampling—Initiatives to legislature, certification of.

Upon the filing of an initiative or referendum petition, the secretary of state shall proceed to verify and canvass the names of the legal voters on the petition. The verification and canvass of signatures on the petition may be observed by persons representing the advocates and opponents of the proposed measure so long as they make no record of the names, addresses, or other information on the petitions or related records during the verification process except upon the order of the superior court of Thurston county. The secretary of state may limit the number of observers to not less than two on each side, if in his or her opinion, a greater number would cause undue delay or disruption of the verification process. Any such limitation shall apply equally to both sides. The secretary of state may use any statistical sampling techniques for this verification and canvass which have been adopted by rule as provided by chapter 34.05 RCW. No petition will be rejected on the basis of any statistical method employed, and no petition will be accepted on the basis of any statistical method employed if such method indicates that the petition contains fewer than the requisite number of signatures of legal voters. If the secretary of state finds the same name signed to more than one petition, he or she shall reject all but the first such valid signature. For an initiative to the legislature, the secretary of state shall transmit a certified copy of the proposed measure to the legislature at the opening of its session and, as soon as the signatures on the petition have been verified and canvassed, the secretary of state shall send to the legislature a certificate of the facts relating to the filing, verification, and canvass of the petition.

NOTES:

Effective date1993 c 368: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1993." [ 1993 c 368 § 2.]
Effective dateSeverability1977 ex.s. c 361: See notes following RCW 29A.16.040.



29A.72.240
Count of signatures—Review.

Any citizen dissatisfied with the determination of the secretary of state that an initiative or referendum petition contains or does not contain the requisite number of signatures of legal voters may, within five days after such determination, apply to the superior court of Thurston county for a citation requiring the secretary of state to submit the petition to said court for examination, and for a writ of mandate compelling the certification of the measure and petition, or for an injunction to prevent the certification thereof to the legislature, as the case may be. Such application and all proceedings had thereunder shall take precedence over other cases and shall be speedily heard and determined.
The decision of the superior court granting or refusing to grant the writ of mandate or injunction may be reviewed by the supreme court within five days after the decision of the superior court, and if the supreme court decides that a writ of mandate or injunction, as the case may be, should issue, it shall issue the writ directed to the secretary of state; otherwise, it shall dismiss the proceedings. The clerk of the supreme court shall forthwith notify the secretary of state of the decision of the supreme court.

NOTES:

Rules of court: Writ procedure superseded by RAP 2.1(b), 2.2, 18.22.
Severability1988 c 202: See note following RCW 2.24.050.



29A.72.250
Initiatives and referenda to the people—Certificates of sufficiency.

If a referendum or initiative petition for submission of a measure to the people is found sufficient, the secretary of state shall at the time and in the manner that he or she certifies to the county auditors of the various counties the names of candidates for state and district officers certify to each county auditor the serial numbers and ballot titles of the several initiative and referendum measures and serial numbers and short descriptions of measures submitted for an advisory vote of the people to be voted upon at the next ensuing general election or special election ordered by the legislature.
[ 2013 c 11 § 75; 2008 c 1 § 10 (Initiative Measure No. 960, approved November 6, 2007); 2003 c 111 § 1825; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.230. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 19; RRS § 5415. Formerly RCW 29.79.230.]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentConstructionSeverabilitySubheadings and part headings not lawShort titleEffective date2008 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 960): See notes following RCW 43.135.031.



29A.72.260
Rejected initiatives to legislature.

Whenever any measure proposed by initiative petition for submission to the legislature is rejected by the legislature or the legislature takes no action thereon before the end of the regular session at which it is submitted, the secretary of state shall certify the serial number and ballot title thereof to the county auditors for printing on the ballots at the next ensuing general election in like manner as initiative measures for submission to the people are certified.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1826. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.79.270; prior: 1913 c 138 § 21; RRS § 5417. Formerly RCW 29.79.270.]



29A.72.270
Alternatives to initiatives to the legislature.

If the legislature, having rejected a measure submitted to it by initiative petition, proposes a different measure dealing with the same subject, the secretary of state shall give that measure the same number as that borne by the initiative measure followed by the letter "B." Such measure so designated as "Alternative Measure No. . . . . B," together with the ballot title thereof, when ascertained, shall be certified by the secretary of state to the county auditors for printing on the ballots for submission to the voters for their approval or rejection in like manner as initiative measures for submission to the people are certified.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1827. Prior: 1965 c 9 § 29.79.280; prior: 1913 c 138 § 22, part; RRS § 5418, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.280.]



29A.72.280
Concise description for alternative to initiative to the legislature.

For a measure designated as "Alternative Measure No. . . . . B," the secretary of state shall obtain from the measure adopting the alternative, or otherwise the attorney general, a concise description of the alternative measure that differs from the concise description of the original initiative and indicates as clearly as possible the essential differences between the two measures.
[ 2003 c 111 § 1828. Prior: 2000 c 197 § 6; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.290; prior: 1913 c 138 § 22, part; RRS § 5418, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.290.]

NOTES:

Part headings not law2000 c 197: See note following RCW 29A.72.050.



29A.72.283
Advisory vote on tax legislation—Short description.

Within five days of receipt of a measure for an advisory vote of the people from the secretary of state under RCW 29A.72.040 the attorney general shall formulate a short description not exceeding thirty-three words and not subject to appeal, of each tax increase and shall transmit a certified copy of such short description meeting the requirements of this section to the secretary of state. The description must be formulated and displayed on the ballot substantially as follows:
"The legislature imposed, without a vote of the people, (identification of tax and description of increase), costing (most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, expressed in dollars and rounded to the nearest million) in its first ten years, for government spending. This tax increase should be:
Repealed . . . .
[ ]
Maintained . . . .
[ ]"
Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are not counted in calculating the time limits in this section. The words "This tax increase should be: Repealed . . . [ ] Maintained . . . [ ]" are not counted in the thirty-three word limit for a short description under this section.
[2008 c 1 § 8 (Initiative Measure No. 960, approved November 6, 2007).]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentConstructionSeverabilitySubheadings and part headings not lawShort titleEffective date2008 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 960): See notes following RCW 43.135.031.



29A.72.285
Advisory vote on tax legislation—Short description filing and transmittal.

When the short description is finally established under RCW 29A.72.283, the secretary of state shall file the instrument establishing it with the proposed measure and transmit a copy thereof by mail to the chief clerk of the house of representatives, the secretary of the senate, and to any other individuals who have made written request for such notification. Thereafter such short description shall be the description of the measure in all ballots and other proceedings in relation thereto.
[2008 c 1 § 9 (Initiative Measure No. 960, approved November 6, 2007).]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentConstructionSeverabilitySubheadings and part headings not lawShort titleEffective date2008 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 960): See notes following RCW 43.135.031.



29A.72.290
Printing ballot titles and short descriptions on ballots—Separate headings.

The county auditor of each county shall print on the official ballots for the election at which initiative and referendum measures and measures for an advisory vote of the people are to be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection, the serial numbers and ballot titles certified by the secretary of state and the serial numbers and short descriptions of measures for an advisory vote of the people. They must appear under separate headings in the order of the serial numbers as follows:
(1) Initiatives to the people;
(2) Referendum measures;
(3) Referendum bills;
(4) Initiatives to the legislature;
(5) Initiatives to the legislature and legislative alternatives;
(6) Advisory votes;
(7) Proposed constitutional amendments.
[ 2013 c 11 § 76; 2008 c 1 § 11 (Initiative Measure No. 960, approved November 6, 2007); 2003 c 111 § 1829; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.300. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 23; RRS § 5419. Formerly RCW 29.79.300.]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentConstructionSeverabilitySubheadings and part headings not lawShort titleEffective date2008 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 960): See notes following RCW 43.135.031.