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Initiative 960 Qualifies for Ballot

News Release
Issued: July 19, 2007

OLYMPIA…Secretary of State Sam Reed announced today that Initiative 960 has sufficient valid signatures to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November.

According to elections officials, a check of petition signatures submitted in support of the proposal has shown that the measure meets constitutional requirements for a minimum of 224,880 valid voter signatures. The measure will appear on the November 6 General Election ballot.

Initiative 960 would require two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval for tax increases, legislative approval of fee increases, certain published information on tax-increasing bills, and advisory votes on taxes enacted without voter approval. The official ballot summary on Initiative 960 reads, "This measure would require either a two-thirds vote in each house of the legislature or voter approval for all tax increases. New or increased fees would require prior legislative approval. An advisory vote would be required on any new or increased taxes enacted by the legislature without voter approval. The office of financial management would be required to publish cost information and information regarding legislators' voting records on bills imposing or increasing taxes or fees."

Sponsors of Initiative 960 submitted a total of 314,504 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. Election officials conducted a random sample of 9,607 signatures, of which 8,410 were valid signatures – 1,197 were determined invalid. Signatures are invalid if the signer is not a registered voter or if he or she signed more than once.

The petition was checked using the "random sample" process authorized by state law. Under the process, a statistically valid percentage of the signatures are selected at random and checked against voter registration records. A mathematical formula is then applied to the results to obtain a projected rate of invalidation.

Election officials examined 9,607 (a 3 percent sample) on Initiative 960. From that inspection, it was determined that the measure had an invalidation rate of 17.1 percent.