Supporters of Washington State Initiative 735 have now gathered over 179,000 signatures as of October 20, 2015. The minimum number of valid signatures needed to be filed with the Washington Secretary of State by December 31st, 2015 is 246,372.
The campaign target goal is to gather 320,000 signatures to cover duplicate and invalid signatures, including those who signed who are not registered voters. Two measures which made it onto the Nov 2015 ballot had invalid rates of 10% (I-1366) and 14% (I-1401). There have been other initiatives that have had as high as 20% which is why I-735 is targeting getting a minimum of 320,000 signatures.
The official ballot title and summary of I-735 as written by the Washington State Attorney General is below:
Initiative Measure No. 735 concerns a proposed amendment to the federal constitution.
This measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations, and constitutionally-protected free speech excludes the spending of money.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
The measure would urge the Washington state congressional delegation to propose a federal constitutional amendment clarifying that constitutional rights belong only to individuals, not corporations; that spending money is not free speech under the First Amendment; that governments are fully empowered to regulate political contributions and expenditures to prevent undue influence; and that political contributions and expenditures must be promptly disclosed to the public. The measure would urge the legislature to ratify such an amendment.
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Initiative 735 is an initiative to the Washington State Legislature. The Legislature according to the Secretary of State has 3 options:
“Initiatives to the Legislature, if certified, are submitted to the Legislature at its next regular session in January. Once submitted, the Legislature must take one of the following 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; or
- 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.”
Supporters of I-735 expect that I-735 will not be passed by the Legislature but will go onto the November 2016 ballot. The states of Montana and Colorado have both had similar measures on the ballot which passed by 74% of the voters. Fourteen other states have passed measures by their Legislatures.
Washington is trying to be the 17th State to urge Congress to put a constitutional amendment back to the states to vote on that would overturn the corporate Citizens United decision. It takes a 2/3 vote of Congress and a 3/4 vote by the states to pass a US Constitutional amendment. It is not easy to pass a constitutional amendment but so far there have been 27 added to the Constitution.
You can read more about the campaign and volunteer to help get signatures or make a contribution to support I-735 by going to www.WAmend.org. The initiative is using volunteer signatures gatherers and needs more help. If you want to help overturn the corporate Citizens United decision this is how you can help.