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I-1552 Backers Caught Circulating Signature Petitions That Don’t Comply With WA Law
June 23, 2017

Just Want Privacy—the campaign behind the I-1552 ballot initiative that would repeal Washington’s transgender non-discrimination protections—has again been playing fast and loose with the law.

Washington Won’t Discrimination, in consultation with Legal Voice and the ACLU of WA, have discovered that signature petitions circulated by Just Want Privacy are not in compliance with the law, which requires petition language to be identical to the proposed ballot language.

The problems include:

  1. Misrepresentation of the court-established ballot title for I-1552;
  2. Incorrect presentation of the court-established ballot measure summary; and
  3. Failure to include the full text of the measure on the reverse side of petition sheets.

These omissions and misrepresentations show a problematic lack of attention to the law at best, and a flagrant disregard for it at worst.

That’s why this morning, Washington Won’t Discriminate, along with Legal Voice and the ACLU, sent a letter to Secretary of State Kim Wyman urging her to make a quick decision on whether her office will accept flawed I-1552 petitions. The letter notes that the Secretary of State’s rules provide that “the full text of the measure must appear on all petition sheets. Any petition sheet missing all, or part, of the text will be rejected by the Secretary of State.”

“It’s not surprising that an anti-LGBT campaign with a record of deceptive and unethical practices would be circulating flawed petitions for signature.” —Seth Kirby, Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate.

David Ward, Legal & Legislative Counsel for Legal Voice, says the issue is clear cut:

“Proponents of I-1552 did not follow the law in creating the petitions for I-1552. Petitions that include these flaws should be rejected by the Secretary of State.”

We’ve asked the Secretary of State to respond by June 29th, so that we can be prepared to possibly litigate the failure of I-1552’s proponents to comply with the basic, simple requirements of Washington law—a failure that is, unfortunately, expected from Just Want Privacy, according to Seth Kirby, a transgender man and Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate.

“Proponents of I-1552 did not follow the law in creating the petitions for I-1552. Petitions that include these flaws should be rejected by the Secretary of State.” —David Ward, Legal & Legislative Counsel for Legal Voice

“It’s not surprising that an anti-LGBT campaign with a record of deceptive and unethical practices would be circulating flawed petitions for signature.”

This kind of behavior is par for the course for Just Want Privacy. Earlier this week a complaint to Public Disclosure Commission argued that the group violated Washington State’s election laws by failing to report numerous contributions from anti-LGBTQ groups.

And last year, the Just Want Privacy campaign was caught telling signature gatherers to harass women in restrooms. This year there are at least two reports of I-1552 signature gatherers assaulting voters, as well as using children to collect signatures and misleading voters on the nature of the initiative.

The signature deadline for I-1552 is July 7th, and we don’t expect I-1552’s backers to cut down on their dirty tricks. So we need to ramp up our ability to call them out. You can help by chipping in to Washington Won’t Discriminate’s Decline to Sign I-1552 campaign.