Washington’s R-71 signatures: Issue may not be resolved until next summer

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court put a stop, at least temporarily, to the release of the names of the petition signers who got R-71 on the ballot. In Washington, they’ve been doing it since 1972.

Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna support release of initiative and referendum petitions under terms of the Public Records Act that state voters approved overwhelmingly in 1972.

Hopefully when this issue is resolved the signatures will be a moot point, and R-71 will have have been approved, but it is still ridiculous, I believe, to have an expectation of “privacy” when signing petitions or “citizen legislating” versus “casting a ballot.”

“Our request would not likely be resolved until next year, possibly June, 2010. This is very good news,” Gary Randall of the Faith and Freedom Network, which asked for the stay, said in an e-mail to supporters Tuesday afternoon.

David Ammons, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said if the court decides not to hear the appeal from Project Marriage Washington, the ban will “terminate automatically” and a lower court ruling releasing the signatures will stand.

When one decides they need to limit the rights of their fellow citizens they need to have the backbone to declare it publicly. Of course, I will never understand how limiting other’s civil rights makes it onto state questions for a popular vote in the first place.

Approve Referendum 71 still has a campaign to run. Ballots have been mailed. Help keep our side’s latest ad on the air here.

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