A King County judge will not block Secretary of State Sam Reed's certification this morning of Referendum 71 for the November ballot.
King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector made the ruling this morning in response to a lawsuit filed last week by Washington Families Standing Together, a group supporting the state's recent law giving gay couples greater domestic-partnership benefits.
Backers of the referendum seek to overturn that law by putting it up for a public vote.
Secretary of State Sam Reed certified R-71 for the November ballot this morning after his office issued a count of 122,007 signatures — 1,430 more than the 120,577 signatures required to qualify for the Nov. 3 ballot, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
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This really is the correct ruling, as disappointing as it is. The state Constitution is very clear that challenges to a ballot measure can only be filed in the county superior court of the state capitol (Thurston County) and that a challenge like this can only be filed after it has been certified.
At issue is about 35,000 signatures that were turned in without a properly signed declaration by the signature gatherer. The measure was certified with only 1,400 signatures to spare, so if the 35,000 are disqualified then the referendum will automatically fail and Washington’s “all but marriage” law will immediately go into effect.