Elections

Washington cleared to release most ballot petitions except for Referendum 71

The Washington State Capitol in Olympia. (Tony Overman/The Olympian)
The Washington State Capitol in Olympia. (Tony Overman/The Olympian)

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Secretary of State Sam Reed can release signed petitions for most initiatives and referendums while a lawsuit against the practice continues.

That ruling came Friday from Thurston County Superior Court Judge Richard Hicks. The case was started by initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who is suing over Reed's policy that signed initiative petitions are public records.

Hicks had paused release of any petitions while the federal courts considered a case involving Referendum 71, which expanded gay partnership rights. Under Friday's ruling, all petitions except those for R-71 can be publicly released.

The state has said lobbyist and political consultant Bryan Wahl of Mountlake Terrace paid more than $1,500 for copies of the 11 sets of petitions at issue in Eyman's lawsuit.

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