NEWS RELEASE

June 10, 2004

For immediate release

GRANGE DISAPPOINTED WITH COURT’S RULING IN PRIMARY LAWSUIT

The Washington State Grange expressed strong disapproval in the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision today upholding the Governor’s section veto of the top-two primary from a bill passed by the Legislature this year.

“This is a real travesty for the voters of Washington State,” said Grange President Terry Hunt. “Every step of the way, government has trampled on the rights of the voters and defied the will of the people it is supposed to represent.”

The current system validated by the Court today will force voters to select a party ballot. Voters will not be able to vote for the person rather than the party

“In September, voters are going to be in for a rude awakening,” said Hunt. “I feel sorry for the polling place volunteers who will have to explain this when the voters finally realize what has happened."

However, Hunt explained that there is one last avenue of hope for the voters in retaining their freedom. Initiative 872 will allow the voters to vote for any candidate in any office, regardless of political party affiliation.

“The Grange is the only group standing up for the rights of the voters,” Hunt said. “The ‘People’s Choice’ initiative is our way of saying ‘it’s time to get the politicians out of the way and let the people vote for the system they want.’ The people will have the final say in this issue.

Hunt explained that the top-two system put forth in I-872 will make the primary elections more competitive, particularly in safe districts.

“We’re just grateful to be in a position where we can fight back and stand up for voter freedom,” continued Hunt. “We look forward to this fight.”

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