The deadline to submit signatures for Initiatives to the Legislature in Washington (ITL) was January 3, 2020. Initiatives to the Legislature is the name of indirect ballot initiatives in Washington. The Washington Secretary of State’s office confirmed to Ballotpedia on January 3 that signatures were not submitted for any of the 104 filed initiatives. If proponents of any of the initiatives had submitted 259,622 valid signatures by January 3, those initiatives would have been sent to the Washington State Legislature during its 2020 session, set to begin on January 13.
The legislature would have then needed to take one of three actions:
- The legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people.
- The legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
- The legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
During the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, 12 Initiatives to the Legislature were on the ballot, of which, six were approved and six were defeated.
January 3 was also the first day to file Initiatives to the People (ITP) in Washington. For Initiatives to the People—which are direct initiatives in Washington—a total of 259,622 valid signatures are required to qualify for the ballot. The last day to submit signatures for ITPs is July 2, 2020. As of January 6, 2020, no Initiatives to the People had been filed. ITPs do not have to go before the legislature, and if enough valid signatures are submitted, ITPs are placed on the next general election ballot for a vote of the people. During the 20-year period from 1999 to 2019, 49 Initiatives to the People were on the ballot, of which, 32 were approved and 17 were defeated.
Washington state ballot measures, quick facts:
- A total of 121 measures appeared on the statewide ballot in Washington through all years (even and odd) from the 20-year period between 1999 and 2019.
- From 1999 to 2019, the number of measures on the statewide ballot ranged from two to 15.
- Between 1999 and 2019, 57% (69) of the total number of measures that appeared on the statewide ballot were approved, and 43% (52) were defeated.
- Between 1999 and 2019, an average of six measures appeared on the ballot in Washington each year.
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