In a ruling issued Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington outlined the responsibility of Secretary of State Kim Wyman to accept and evaluate initiative and referendum petitions.
The deadline for initiative petitions to be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State is 5 p.m. July 6. If an initiative petition contains at least 259,622 registered voters’ signatures and meets the statutory requirements, the initiative will be placed on the November General Election ballot.
The Office of the Secretary of State has the authority defined in RCW 29A.72.170 for accepting or rejecting initiative petitions.
Under that statute, the Secretary of State may reject petitions that do not:
- Contain certain language required by statute, including a warning, an oath, and a place for each petitioner to provide required information;
- Bear 259,622 or more registered voters’ signatures, which are subject to verification; or
- Meet the statutory deadline for filing with the Secretary of State.
“As Secretary of State, it is my duty to fairly and impartially evaluate all petitions so Washington voters can fully exercise their Constitutional rights,” Wyman said in a press release. “State law clearly defines the authority my office has for accepting or rejecting petitions. We are diligent in making sure those requirements are met. That’s our responsibility to every Washingtonian.”
Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal.
The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.