I-517 is initiative promoter Tim Eyman’s latest effort, aimed at increasing the profitability of the signature gathering business by making shortsighted and irresponsible changes to Washington’s initiative process at the expense of citizens’ rights.
I-517 is intrusive
These changes will make signature gathering more intrusive by allowing all signature gatherers, including out-of-state paid petitioners to operate inside any public building in Washington year round. The inside aisles, walkways, waiting rooms, and seats of schools, hospitals, convention centers, professional sports arenas, public fairs and even high school sports stadiums would no longer be free of political pressure. Some places should be free of politics.
I-517 infringes on private property rights
I-517 infringes on private property rights by taking away storeowners’ ability to regulate if, when, where and how signature gathering takes place on their property. Under I-517 signature gathering becomes a legally protected activity anywhere outside of any store including immediately outside the entrances and exits.
I-517 infringes on free speech rights
I-517 compromises all citizens’ right to free speech by making it illegal for anyone to interfere in any way with a signature gatherer’s activities. Asking them to leave you alone if harassing you, move out your way if blocking you, or expressing any type of disagreement with the initiative content is illegal and puts you in danger of being guilty of a misdemeanor.
The No on I-517 Coalition is a diverse and growing bipartisan group of Washington citizens, grocers, retailers, community organizations, and sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders. We urge you to vote NO on I-517.