LETTER: I-1639 shows Secretary of State can pick and choose

When I read the article in Sundays (the 26th) paper about the State Supreme Court overturning a lower court ruling on initiative I-1639 and their reasoning I became concerned about the initiative process in this state.

Apparently when you submit an initiative you do not have to follow the requirements that the state has set up and there is nothing in our laws or regulations that says Secretary of State Kim Wyman has to not certify a petition that doesn’t meet their own requirements.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the next petition that doesn’t meet the requirements gets denied.

It appears that the Secretary of State can pick and choose the initiatives that she likes for approval.

I thought that personal opinion was not part of the process.

The state’s requirements say (in part) that the petition has to be a “readable, full, true, and correct copy” and has to clearly show what is taken out of current law and what is added.

The lower court ruling said that I-1639 petitions didn’t meet these requirements so it couldn’t be certified.

The state Supreme Court said it doesn’t make any difference — she can certify it if she wants, even if it is not a readable, full, true and correct copy.

After the ruling, Wyman said that “My priority is protecting Washington citizens right to make informed use of the state constitution’s initiative process” (even if it doesn’t follow the rules and is confusing and hard to read.)

Fred L. Minker,


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