NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Behold, the Eymallot… a general election ballot packed full of Tim Eyman’s push polls

Here in Wash­ing­ton State, 2019 is sup­posed to be a local elec­tion year — a cycle when we focus on fill­ing impor­tant offices close to home at the local lev­el, like city coun­cil, port com­mis­sion, school board, and even fire dis­trict or water dis­trict.

But it’s not going to feel much like a local elec­tion year when the time comes to open up that bal­lot and fill in all the ovals. That’s because — at least in King Coun­ty, the state’s most pop­u­lous sub­di­vi­sion — there won’t be a sin­gle local posi­tion on the front of the bal­lot. That’s right, not even one. 

Why is there no room for local races on the front of the bal­lot in a local elec­tion year!? Because this Novem­ber, there are fif­teen statewide bal­lot mea­sures, twelve of which are not real­ly bal­lot mea­sures at all, but rather push polls man­dat­ed by an old Tim Eyman ini­tia­tive that has­n’t been ful­ly struck down yet.

In addi­tion to the unprece­dent­ed twelve push polls, there’s one Tim Eyman ini­tia­tive (I‑976) plus a ref­er­en­dum to rein­state a Tim Eyman ini­tia­tive (R‑88).

This is why we call this year’s bal­lot “the Eymal­lot” — because it might as well have been designed by Tim Eyman him­self. Eyman has man­aged to do some­thing unprece­dent­ed: turn the bal­lot itself into a mech­a­nism for the dis­tri­b­u­tion of pure pro­pa­gan­da. That’s what those push polls are: anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da.

The only item on the front of the bal­lot that is NOT Eyman relat­ed is Sen­ate Joint Res­o­lu­tion 8200, a bipar­ti­san, uncon­tro­ver­sial house­keep­ing amend­ment to the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion that would allow the state’s emer­gency pow­ers to be invoked in the event of a “cat­a­stroph­ic inci­dent” (like a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake), as opposed to the more nar­row sce­nario of an “ene­my attack”.

Now, it’s one thing for you to read all of this. It’s anoth­er thing entire­ly for you to actu­al­ly see this year’s bal­lot. Yes­ter­day, King Coun­ty Elec­tions com­plet­ed work on the design of the bal­lot, and they were kind enough to send over a sam­ple of the design to us. Now I can show you what I’m talk­ing about.

Behold, this year’s gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot… the Eymal­lot!

The Eymallot

This is “The Eymal­lot”… a gen­er­al elec­tion bal­lot that’s packed to the brim with Tim Eyman push polls.

The staff at Elec­tions told us that try­ing to make every­thing fit on a sin­gle piece of paper was extreme­ly chal­leng­ing and they had to con­sid­er going to two pages. Ulti­mate­ly, every­thing was made to fit on just one page. The three bind­ing statewide bal­lot mea­sures, plus the Eyman push polls, take up the entire front of the bal­lot. As men­tioned, there’s not a sin­gle local race on there.

Every local race has been rel­e­gat­ed to the back of the bal­lot.

It’s just appalling.

Were it not for the twelve Eyman push polls, most of what is on the back of the bal­lot could fit on the front along with the three real statewide bal­lot mea­sures.

It is worth men­tion­ing that the Leg­is­la­ture had a chance to put the kibosh on all of these push polls ear­li­er this year, thus avert­ing this stu­pid­i­ty.

Led by Andy Bil­lig, Man­ka Dhin­gra, Rebec­ca Sal­dana, and bill spon­sor Pat­ty Kud­er­er, the Sen­ate vot­ed to abol­ish them, but the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives failed to act because ex-Speak­er Frank Chopp would­n’t bring the bill to the floor.

How­ev­er, all is not lost. The bill remains alive and it could pass next ses­sion… if Wash­ing­to­ni­ans rise up and insist that their elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives act to remove pro­pa­gan­da from the bal­lot. The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives will have a new Speak­er, Lau­rie Jink­ins, who will hope­ful­ly per­mit this bill to come to the floor for a vote so that it can be sent to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee’s desk.

If you agree that 2019 should be the last year that we ever have to suf­fer through hav­ing our bal­lot turned into an Eymal­lot, then please take action now. Fol­low this link to send a mes­sage to leg­isla­tive lead­ers. Let them know that you want Sen­ate Bill 5224 passed by both hous­es in the 2020 leg­isla­tive ses­sion. Then, share the call to action with your friends. Togeth­er, we can abol­ish Tim Eyman’s push polls.

Adjacent posts

  • Donate now to support The Cascadia Advocate


    Thank you for read­ing The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute’s jour­nal of world, nation­al, and local pol­i­tics.

    Found­ed in March of 2004, The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate has been help­ing peo­ple through­out the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond make sense of cur­rent events with rig­or­ous analy­sis and thought-pro­vok­ing com­men­tary for more than fif­teen years. The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate is fund­ed by read­ers like you: we have nev­er accept­ed adver­tis­ing or place­ments of paid con­tent.

    And we’d like it to stay that way.

    Help us keep The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate edi­to­ri­al­ly inde­pen­dent and freely avail­able by becom­ing a mem­ber of the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute today. Or make a dona­tion to sus­tain our essen­tial research and advo­ca­cy jour­nal­ism.

    Your con­tri­bu­tion will allow us to con­tin­ue bring­ing you fea­tures like Last Week In Con­gress, live cov­er­age of events like Net­roots Nation or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, and reviews of books and doc­u­men­tary films.

    Become an NPI mem­ber Make a one-time dona­tion

One Comment

  1. Tim Eyman has pro­posed some­thing every year for more than two decades, has­n’t he?

    # by Lance Kirkton :: September 29th, 2019 at 10:38 PM