I-517 violates Washingtonians’ property rights
Courts have ruled that petitioners must respect private property rights when collecting signatures, but I-517 prevents property owners from having control over signature gathering on their property, infringing upon their constitutionally-guaranteed property rights. Under I-517, law enforcement would be directed to vigorously protect petitioners collecting within a twenty-five foot zone. Business owners would not be able to stop aggressive petitioners from blocking and harassing customers who are trying to enter or exit a store. Instead, their property rights would be disregarded.
I-517 benefits Tim Eyman
Sponsor Tim Eyman is a full-time initiative proponent who makes money off the measures he promotes. Under I-517, it would be easier and cheaper for Eyman to qualify future initiatives to the ballot, meaning he could double his output and increase his profits.
I-517 would make petitioning more intrusive
I-517 allows out of state petitioners to be active in Washington year-round – both inside and outside public buildings. Petitioners could go inside sports stadiums like Safeco Field or Comcast Arena, public libraries, and even public school events like high school football games to ask Washingtonians to sign stacks of petitions.
I-517 would increase elections costs
A provision tucked away in I-517 forces cities and counties to put local initiatives on the ballot even if they’re illegal or invalid, wasting taxpayer dollars on unnecessary elections.
Join former Secretaries of State Ralph Munro and Sam Reed in voting no on I-517.
Rebuttal of Argument For
Former Secretary of State Sam Reed said that most complaints received in his office were from citizens and businesses who were being harassed by signature gatherers and that laws already exist to protect signature gatherers’ safety. Local governments should not be forced into costly legal battles when an initiative is found to be unconstitutional. Former Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge says I-517 is unconstitutional as it takes away private property rights of others. Vote No.
Argument Prepared by
Rob McKenna, former Washington State Attorney General;Brian Sonntag, former Washington State Auditor; Jan Gee,Washington Food Industry Association (independent/ family-owned grocers); Frank Ordway, League of Education Voters; Andrew Villeneuve, activist and founder of the Northwest Progressive Institute