The Washington Secretary of State‘s office reports that the process of imaging the referendum petitions for the archives will conclude Wednesday. The Elections Division will next count the raw signatures and then begin the task of checking them against the voter records. “[I]t is likely that a full signature check will be required, rather than a speedier random-sample check”, said Sos spokesperson David Ammons, because only about 138,000 raw signatures were turned in. 120,577 valid signatures are needed to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
It falls to all of us to inform ourselves and our friends, family and co-workers about what the referendum does, and that if it comes to a vote we must VOTE “APPROVE” to preserve the Domestic Partnership Expansion Law of 2009 (SB 5688). Yes, I said APPROVE. This is due to the way the ballot was worded by the Attorney General:
Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].
Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.
Should this bill be:
The ballot language is clear: if the referendum goes to the ballot and we VOTE TO APPROVE THE DP LAW, domestic partnerships in Washington state will be enhanced and have all the same state-level legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations as do civil marriages. If the law is rejected, DPs in Washington state will remain status quo.
There has been some misinformation that Referendum 71 is about giving same-sex couples marriage. This is false. Referendum 71 is about approving an incremental enhancement to existing DP law.
There has been some misinformation that if we don’t vote APPROVED, the entire DP system will be repealed. This is false. Referendum 71 is about approving an incremental enhancement to existing DP law. Existing DP law will remain intact no matter what.
There has been some misinformation that if we VOTE TO APPROVE THE DP LAW, schools will be forced to teach children that homosexuality is normal. This is false. There is nothing in the text of the law that mentions school curriculum.Join Washington Families Standing Together in their fight to defeat Referendum 71 by clicking on the graphics below.
Cross-posted at Washblog.