Tim Eyman plans to turn in signatures next week for a ballot measure that would make life easier for initiative sponsors like himself.
I-517, an initiative to the Legislature, would give initiative sponsors an additional six months to collect signatures. It also would set penalties for harassing signature gatherers, and prevent court challenges from keeping measures off the ballot, Eyman said.
He needs 241,153 valid signatures of registered voters to send the measure to lawmakers in January. The Secretary of State’s office recommends having around 300,000 signatures as a buffer in case some prove to be invalid. Eyman says he has the signatures needed and plans to turn them in on Jan. 3.
If Eyman gets enough signatures, the Legislature can vote the measure into law or decline to act, in which case it would go to voters next November for a decision. The Legislature could also come up with it’s own proposal and put that on the ballot as a competing measure.
Meanwhile, the state Public Disclosure Commission is investigating allegations around the financing of I-517. Jordan Schrader at The News Tribune wrote about the controversy in September. The PDC said the case is still pending.
Eyman said he believes the campaign is in compliance with the PDC record requirements. He also said finance reports have been updated since the News Tribune article was written.
State records show the political action committee sponsoring the measure, Protect Your Right to Vote on Initiatives, has raised roughly $300,000 in-kind contributions, primarily from an initiative advocacy group based in Virginia called Citizens in Charge.
Eyman said he’s working on I-517 along with Edward Agazarm, a long-time fixture on the initiative scene, and Paul Jacob, who is on the Citizens in Charge board of directors.