October 30th, 2013
NPI’s Permanent Defense today released a new critical analysis of the “advisory votes” required by Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960.
Titled “Tim Eyman’s “advisory votes” are really costly, deceptive, and unconstitutional push polls“, it explains that the five “advisory votes” on this year’s ballot are an expensive sham intended to maliciously influence voters, not provide our state’s elected leaders with any useful feedback about the state budget.
“We have begun calling these advisory votes push polls, because that is what they really are,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Tim Eyman’s initiatives for nearly twelve years.
“Like all push polls, Eyman’s advisory votes consist of loaded questions that suggest their own responses. Regardless of what the outcome of these five votes are, Eyman has already won, because he has succeeded in cluttering up the front side of every Washingtonian’s ballot with his false ‘government is oppressing you and overtaxing you’ message. Where is the counterpoint? Where is the context?”
“It’s not there. It’s not even in the voter’s pamphlet; I-960 forbids it. The taxpayers of this state are unknowingly paying for Tim Eyman’s propaganda to be marketed to them. It’s ridiculous.”
“In computing, there’s a saying I like: Garbage in, garbage out. What this means is, if you put bad data into a computer program, it will spit bad results out. The computer will unquestioningly process what you give it, even if the data is invalid or makes no sense. That’s analogous to what’s going on here. Some voters may skip the advisory vote questions because they find them confusing or rigged, but most will try to answer them because they want to vote a complete ballot, as every good citizen should. But since the advisory vote questions are no good, the results will also be no good. We are advising all state lawmakers – Democrats and Republicans alike – to draw no conclusions whatsoever from the results of these push polls, except that our tax dollars are being wasted yet again by a Tim Eyman initiative.”
The analysis – which looks at what voters see and what they don’t see when they come across the “advisory votes” – concludes that Eyman’s push polls are costly, deceptive, and unconstitutional. It notes that recent news stories about the advisory votes have failed to discuss the true extent of the cost of the push polls. The approximately $130,000 that was spent to put the push polls into the voter’s pamphlet (which Eyman has ironically called “chump change”) is just the beginning. In any election, there are costs associated with printing, mailing, and tallying ballots. Those costs will be higher in 2013 as a result of the inclusion of Eyman’s five push polls.
Recent news stories have also neglected to discuss the constitutionality of Eyman’s push polls; the analysis explains why NPI believes them to be unconstitutional.
Read the full analysis: Tim Eyman’s “advisory votes” are really costly, deceptive, and unconstitutional push polls