No statewide ballot initiatives this November, drug decriminalization campaign stalls out

Jul 11, 2022, 10:51 AM | Updated: 10:52 am

Photo by Marc Piscotty...

Photo by Marc Piscotty

For the third straight year, Washington voters won’t be asked to decide any statewide ballot initiatives come November.

Friday was the deadline for statewide ballot initiatives to turn in their signatures to qualify for the November ballot, and according to Northwest Progressive Institute, no campaign turned in the necessary signatures to qualify.

Two statewide campaigns had been fundraising in the hopes of getting on the ballot. I-1929 would have repealed the state’s new capital gains tax, but folded without turning in a single signature.

Initiative to repeal capital gains tax stalls as lawsuit continues

The group sponsoring the initiative said they would wait for the court ruling on whether the law was constitutional rather than push for a public vote.

The second measure, I-1922, was the ACLU-backed effort to decriminalize drugs in Washington. It raised over 3.5 million signatures, but was abruptly canceled last week with the campaign saying it did not have enough money to get enough signatures to qualify.

Initiative to decriminalize drug possession fails to make November ballot

This initiative followed recent Oregon legislation, Measure 110, which passed and started Feb. 1, 2021, to remove criminal penalties for possession of drugs and expand access to health services.

I‑1922 faced a deadline of 5 p.m. July 8 to turn in approximately 405,000 signatures. The minimum number of valid signatures is 324,516 and a cushion of about 25% is recommended to offset duplicate and invalid signatures.

With no new initiatives on the ballot for the state election, there are some for King County and the city of Seattle, including a proposal to move local elections to even years.

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No statewide ballot initiatives this November, drug decriminalization campaign stalls out