April 5, 2004

For immediate release


The Washington State Grange began promoting the "People's Choice" initiative today by way of a statewide radio advertising campaign encouraging voters to sign the Initiative 872 petitions.

"We need to collect 250,000 signatures by the end of June so that the people can vote on this in the November election," said Terry Hunt, president of the Washington State Grange. "We need to protect the voting rights we have enjoyed for 70 years so that our children can continue to exercise their freedom of choice."

I-872 will protect voter choice by implementing a qualifying primary system in which the two top vote-getters move forward to the general election, regardless of party. Hunt explains that the system will look very similar to the blanket primary system the Grange established in 1934, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The qualifying primary, however, meets the constitutional criteria set forth by the courts.

The advertising campaign begins in Western Washington this week and extends to the other side of the mountains next week.

"The people should have the final say on this issue, and that's why we're trying to get the word out," said Hunt. "We want people to be aware of the fact that their rights are being taken away from them. After all, they are the ones who will be affected by the system Governor Locke put into place. Voters don't like to be told who they can and can't vote for. And we will fight to preserve their freedoms."

-> -> Listen to the I-872 radio advertisement <- <-


For more information, contact David Burr, Communications Director, (360) 943-9911.