Initiative to Privatize Liquor Sales Petitions Filed

The Washington Secretary of State’s office announced 1-1100 petitions were turned in Wednesday, which makes it the first initiative to turn in signatures. The measure is backed by Costco and other retailers.

The state is recommending petitioners to bring in 300,000 signatures to comfortably meet the 241,153-signature issues need to make it on the ballot. I-1100 backers brought in almost 400,000.

The state’s press release contains other information about other petition drives that brought in high numbers of signatures. You can the release here.

As expected, the I-1100 signature petition sheets were delivered to our Elections Division office at about 12:30 today, making it the first initiative this year to turn in sigs. I-1100, backed by Costco and other retailers, would privatize liquor sales in Washington.

A spokesman for 1100 said that they collected more than 396,000 signatures in only 27 days. A minimum of 241,153 signatures from Washington registered voters is needed to make it on the November ballot, and we’re recommending that initiative campaigns bring in at least 300,000 as a cushion in case of duplicates or invalid signatures.

The 1100 campaign told us that today was its one and final petition drop, so these petition sheets soon will be digitally imaged in preparation for a signature check of a 3 percent sampling that possibly will start July 6 and be completed a few days later.

So how does I-1100’s signature haul compare to others? Pretty well, but far from the highest in state history. According to a list showing the 25 initiatives with the most signatures gathered, Initiative 282, a 1973 measure dealing with elected officials’ salaries, brought in an astounding 699,098 sigs. Keep in mind that Washington’s population back then was only about 3.44 million, roughly half of the nearly 6.7 million people here today.

Three other initiatives cracked the 400K signature mark: I-695 (514,141), Tim Eyman’s successful 1999 vehicle that limited car tabs; I-602 (440,160), one of two spending and revenue limiting measures (I-601 being the other) that made it onto the 1993 ballot; and I-912, the 2005 measure that sought a public vote on gas tax increases imposed by the Legislature that year (400,996).

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