Obnoxious right wing petitioner caught harassing voters in Renton

Ballot WatchdoggingThreat Analysis

With the deadline to qualify initiatives to the 2017 ballot fast approaching, sketchy petitioners hired by right wing campaigns to gather signatures are once again resorting to hardball tactics in public places in order to make a few quick bucks.

Our latest evidence of petitioner misconduct comes from Sakara Remmu, who reports that today in Renton, she encountered a very aggressive, obnoxious petitioner carrying petitions for two right wing initiatives who simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Here’s how she described the incident:

So this white man, in Renton, is gathering signatures for ballot measures.

  1. First one: keep safe injection sites out of King County.
  2. Second one: As he described it, “keeps the boys in the boys’ bathroom and the girls in the girls’ bathroom.”

I declined both. He walked away. Then he came back (red flag), “Excuse me young lady (red flag), let me ask you this, then…”

I cut him off and reminded him of the laws, policies and procedures for gathering signatures. He mocked me. Then he grabbed my elbow. Defcon1. I had to tell him absolutely do not touch me. He laughed at me again. After he approached the other black folks, who declined to sign, he said loudly, “So y’all know each other or what?”

Abusive petitioner in Renton
Abusive petitioners like this show little regard for the rights or personal spaces of others (Photos: Sakara Remmu)

Sadly, this type of harassment occurs far too commonly, especially during the weeks before a signature deadline, when out of state petitioners are in town trying to make fast money. About two years ago, we documented a case of harassment that took place in Kirkland. Police had to be summoned when a scummy pair of right wing petitioners wouldn’t stop cursing at customers who declined to sign petitions for Tim Eyman’s draconian I-1366.

The two measures Sakara was asked to sign are:

  1. Initiative 27, a King County initiative that would prohibit safe injection sites within King County.
  2. Initiative 1552, a statewide initiative that would repeal a Human Rights Commission rule that allows transgender individuals to use washrooms consistent with the gender they identity as. I-1552 is sponsored by Kaeley Triller Haver.

If you encounter a petitioner hawking right wing initiatives, decline to sign. If the petitioner verbally or physically abuses you, don’t hesitate to call the police. Then, let us know what happened by submitting a report to our tracking system.

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