Initiative 1000 cleared for November ballot

News Release
Issued: July 24, 2008

OLYMPIA - Secretary of State Sam Reed announced Thursday that Initiative Measure No. 1000, former Governor Booth Gardner’s measure dealing with assisted suicide or “Death with Dignity,” has enough valid signatures to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November.

According to elections officials, a random check of petition signatures submitted in support of the proposal showed that the measure meets the constitutional requirement for a minimum of 224,880 valid signatures of registered voters. It is the second initiative to be certified for the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

Initiative 985, Tim Eyman’s measure dealing with transportation, was certified last week. One other measure, Initiative 1029, which would provide for certification of long-term care aides, will be checked next. Sponsors of I-1029 submitted more than 300,000 signatures. 

The official ballot summary prepared by the state Attorney General for I-1000 says: “This measure would permit terminally ill, competent, adult Washington residents medically predicted to die within six months, to request and self-administer lethal medication prescribed by a physician.

The measure requires two oral and one written request, two physicians to diagnose the patient and determine the patient is competent, a waiting period, and physician verification of an informed patient decision. Physicians, patients and others acting in good faith compliance would have criminal and civil immunity.”

The complete text is available online here.

Sponsors of I-1000 submitted 317,272 signatures to the Secretary of State by the July 3 turn-in deadline. Election officials conducted a 3 percent random sample of 9,520 signatures, checking that the person was a registered state voter and that the signature matched the one on file.

The check showed that 8,546 signatures were valid and the rest were not registered, duplicate signatures or otherwise invalid. The statistically valid random sample was used to project that Gardner’s initiative secured more than enough signatures.