For those of us who support the new domestic partnership law in Washington state, there seems to be some uncertainty about which way to vote on Referendum 71 this November. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
I can understand why opponents of R-71 — “opponents” being an especially confusing term, because a “yes” vote affirms current laws guaranteeing widespread rights to gay couples — want to…
I chalk this up to two things: people not being familiar with ballot language standards, and people dwelling on the past. Folks, it’s time to forget how we felt about Referendum 71 getting on the ballot and using that to define our position, because Referendum 71 will be on the ballot. That is the new reality we must operate within. We must turn the page, look ahead and define our position by what we support (domestic partnerships) and what we approve (the domestic partnership law). To illustrate how adopting this mindset clarifies the situation, I’ll re-write that confusing sentence above accordingly:
I can understand why supporters of the domestic partnership law want to…
The ballot language itself works on a similar principle, so a great way to dispel lingering uncertainty is to familiarize folks with how referendum ballot language works. All referenda in Washington state are worded in the same way, Referendum 71 included. A referendum asks voters to reject or approve a law that was recently passed by the legislature. Thus, Referendum 71 asks voters to reject or approve the domestic partnership law passed this spring by the legislature and signed by the Governor. Here is what the Referendum 71 ballot language looks like:
Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.
Should this bill be:
Knowing now as you do how ballot language works, and keeping in mind that you support domestic partnerships and approve of the new law, it’s a no-brainer to remember, when your ballot arrives in the mail, to Vote APPROVED on Ref. 71 to preserve the domestic partnership law.Washington Voter Registration Information
|Please make sure you are registered to vote! If you have previously registered to vote in Washington, please check to be sure that your voter registration status is active and your address is current.
Since voters in every county except Pierce Co. will get their ballots by mail, it is vital that your address is current in the voter database.
What to do
You have until Monday, October 5, 2009 to update your information online or get your paper registration form post marked. If you are registering for the first time in Washington, you have until Monday, October 26, 2009 to register in person at your county’s elections office. (But you won’t let it slide that long, right?) If you are registered to vote but miss the deadline to update your address, you can still vote. Contact your County Elections Office where you are currently registered in order to obtain a ballot.
Below are ways to contact your county’s elections office.
H/T infodriveway for the voter registration information!