September 29th, 2004
Permanent Defense today released the results of its research into the fate of levies and propositions statewide on the September 14th primary ballot to the public and the press. The research, which took over a week to compile, is an extensive look at levies and propositions from the twenty four counties (out of thirty nine) that had levies and propositions on their primary ballot.
The results indicate an overwhelming support of public services from voters, says NPI’s founder and executive director, Andrew Villeneuve, who launched Permanent Defense in 2002 as a first line of defense against threats to Washington’s common wealth.
“Out of 132 levies and propositions that were on the primary ballot, 100 were approved. That’s a huge measure of success, especially considering that more than half of the measures that were approved required a 60% supermajority vote and 40% minimum turnout, which they met.”
“Voters are willing to pay for increased taxes because they know that their local fire department, library, school district, or parks system needs money to operate,” Villeneuve said. He noted that communities benefit from strong public services.
“The government cannot provide these services for free. It’s important that we fully fund them so that our communities remain safe, vibrant places to live. And funding public services contributes to the economy because it provides good-paying jobs for citizens.”
Tim Eyman, however, often says public expenditures are too high, and rails against elected officials for not lowering taxes.
Voters clearly disagree with this sentiment, as evidenced by their votes in the primary.
The results of local levies and propositions in the primary election are an excellent measure of what voters think about taxes and public services. They surpass polls and surveys as a way to gauge voters’ moods and feelings towards government.
To create the report, Permanent Defense contacted each county’s auditor or elections officials to determine requirements for each levy or proposition’s passage, as well as election returns and a description of the levy or proposition.