Petitions seeking vote on switching East Jefferson electricity to PUD submitted

PORT TOWNSEND — A citizens’ group turned in to the auditor’s office on Tuesday the 2,152 signatures it had gathered on a petition seeking to put local electrical power on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

The petition needs 1,626 signatures of valid registered voters to validate and clear the way for calling an election.

If put on the ballot and approved by voters, the measure would give the Jefferson County Public Utility District, which now provides water and sewage service in East Jefferson County, the authority to provide an electrical utility to county residents.

Electrical power is now provided by Puget Sound Energy.

“I have already run [the signatures] up against the voter list,” said Steve Hamm, a member of Citizens for Local Power, on Tuesday.

“If my numbers are correct, then we are well over the 1,626 we need.”

Citizens for Local Power filed the petition Tuesday morning with the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, which has until July 11 to certify the signatures.

Hamm said he believes the 178 pages of signatures presented to the auditor will be enough to get the question on the ballot.

If sufficient signatures are certified, then the petition will go before the three Jefferson County commissioners, who have until Aug. 12 to pass a resolution calling for the election.

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