Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington voters mixed on initiatives, survey says

Washington voters seem to support doing more to protect seniors from scams, letting a court take guns away from dangerously violent people and raising the minimum wage, a new poll indicates.

While those three initiatives have support of more than half the voters surveyed in a recent Elway Poll, three others don’t. Changing the constitution to say spending money on campaigns isn’t free speech; another to impose a new tax on fossil fuels; and a measure to revise the state’s campaign finance rules all fall short of the majority they would need to pass.

Yet the three failing measures had significant numbers of voters who said they were undecided.

In the past, when surveys in the summer showed an initiative had support from more than 60 percent of voters, they usually passed in November, Pollster H. Stuart Elway said. About half the initiatives that polled below 60 percent in previous summer surveys have managed to pass.

Here’s a breakdown of the current survey of 500 registered voters conducted last week:

  • I-1501, which increases civil penalties for those convicted of identity theft and consumer fraud against seniors, had 74 percent saying they would vote for it and only 6 percent planning to vote against it. Another 21 percent said they were undecided.
  • I-1491, which would allow families or law enforcement to seek “extreme risk” protection orders from a court that could remove firearms from a person judged to be dangerous to himself or others, had 64 percent saying they would vote yes, 18 percent no and 18 percent undecided.
  • I-1433, which would raise the state minimum wage to $13.20 by 2020 and require many business to provide paid sick leave to workers, had 57 percent saying they’d vote yes, 31 percent no and 12 percent undecided.
  • I-735, which seeks a constitutional amendment to say constitutional rights don’t apply to corporations and spending money isn’t free speech, had 43 percent yes, 21 percent no and 36 percent undecided.
  • I-732, which would impose a carbon emissions tax on fossil fuels while making some changes in existing taxes, had 34 percent yes, 37 percent no and 30 percent undecided.
  • I-1464, which would create a new campaign finance system which allows residents to send state funds to a candidate of their choice, also had 34 percent yes, with 23 percent no and 43 percent undecided.