Today, the Northwest Progressive Institute is pleased to announce the launch of VoteMaintained.org, a new website for voters that provides guidance on how to respond to statewide “advisory votes” … the three items (numbered #36, #37, and #38) that every Washington voter will see at the top of this year’s ballot.
Each “advisory vote” concerns a bill that the Washington State Legislature passed earlier this year that raises state revenue in some way.
“Advisory votes” are, in truth, a misnomer, because they were created to influence public opinion instead of measuring it. Unlike real ballot measures, the outcomes of “advisory votes” are completely meaningless. They cannot even be used by legislators to ascertain how the public feels about recent fiscal decisions, because the questions are loaded and suggest their own answer.
Contrary to what The Seattle Times said in a recent editorial, “advisory votes” can’t be used to “send a message” to the Legislature. That’s because you can’t find out what people really think when you ask loaded questions.
Tim Eyman’s so-called ‘advisory votes’ are actually anti-tax propaganda pieces that interrupt the act of voting, thereby serving as a form of voter suppression. They’re confusing, costly, and harmful to democracy.
We need to repeal them — and Senator Patty Kuderer thankfully has introduced a bill that would do just that. It’s awaiting floor action in the Senate.
For the time being, we urge Washington voters to vote ‘Maintained’ on this year’s crop of ‘advisory votes’ to deny Tim Eyman the lopsided fake results he would like to have for his post-election email missives.
VoteMaintained.org contains a graphical depiction of how to vote on this year’s “advisory votes,” along with a brief explainer followed by an extended Q&A.
We deliberately chose to build a resource that explains how to vote on ‘advisory votes’ as opposed to merely trying to explain what they are and how we ended up with them. Why? Because many Washingtonians lack time to research what’s on the ballot. They lead busy lives and they just want to know which oval to fill in to vote responsibly so they can expeditiously fulfill their civic duty.
Other voters, meanwhile, might have time to do research, but may simply want reassurance that the conclusion that they end up reaching is a good one.
This new, simple one-page website will help on both counts. It contains a lot of useful information that’s not in the voter’s pamphlet because Tim Eyman didn’t want it there when he maliciously conceived of ‘advisory votes.’ We’re really happy to make this new resource available today as voters receive their ballots.
If you get questions about “advisory votes” from friends or family, please make sure you let them know about VoteMaintained.org. Thanks, and happy voting!