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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Olympia

R-71 signature-gathering: Halfway there, with two weeks to go…

The Faith & Freedom PAC, one of several groups trying to get a referendum on the November ballot to repeal the state's "everything but marriage" law for domestic partners, says that it has gathered more than half the signatures it needs.

"Conservatively, we have a little over 75,000 signatures to date," PAC president Gary Randall said in an email to supporters Friday.

To get Referendum 71 on the ballot, proponents need 120,577 valid voter signatures. Campaigns typically figure on a "cushion" of about 25 percent more to compensate for unregistered voters, etc. So the R-71 people are about halfway there.

"We think this is good news, however it points out exactly how much work is left to do in just two weeks," Randall wrote Friday. (The signature deadline is July 25th.)

"Please be sure to see that petitions are in your church during the next two Sundays," he continued. "If your pastor will mention it from the pulpit, that would be very helpful."

He also said that the Knights of Columbus were launching a statewide push for signatures this past weekend.

Opponents of the measure have laid the groundwork for an opposition campaign, but seem to be waiting first to see if the measure actually gets on the ballot. The clock's ticking, and it looks like an uphill battle to get enough signatures in the final days. But stay tuned.

Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.