July 24th, 2019
Second right wing measure appears destined for November 2019 ballot: Referendum 88 likely to qualify
A right wing effort to overturn the Washington State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Act (Initiative 1000) by referendum appears to have succeeded in collecting the necessary signatures to force a statewide vote this autumn. Backers of Referendum 88 today submitted what they said were almost 177,000 signatures and plan to turn in another 20,000 more by Saturday at 5 PM, which is the deadline for submitting signatures.
To be certified, petitions for a referendum like R-88 must contain the signatures of at least 129,811 registered voters. As set forth in the Constitution, the minimum number of valid signatures required for a referendum is equivalent to four percent of the number of Washingtonians who participated in the last election for governor.
NPI’s Permanent Defense has been monitoring the R-88 signature drive for the past several weeks and expected today’s developments.
Many people who were approached to sign a Referendum 88 petition reported to NPI that the petitioner told them R-88 was a measure to help veterans, or to make affirmative action legal. The truth is just the opposite. Backers of R-88 want to overturn I-1000, a legislatively adopted initiative that prohibits discrimination against veterans and allows state agencies to help disadvantaged and historically underrepresented groups. It appears that a significant number of signatures for R-88 were obtained under false pretenses.
To keep I-1000 the law of the land, a majority of voters in Washington must vote Approved on Referendum 88 this autumn.
NPI is working with business, labor, and civic groups to build a strong coalition to Approve Referendum 88. Below is the press release we published today in response to the submission of signatures for this measure.