NEWS RELEASE

July 2, 2004

For immediate release

GRANGE SUBMITS ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES - I-872 LIKELY ON BALLOT

The Washington State Grange delivered a batch of approximately 75,000 signatures for its "People's Choice" initiative to the Secretary of State's office today.

This is in addition to the initial batch of approximately 230,000 signatures the non-profit organization submitted earlier this week. With slightly more than 305,000 signatures, the initiative will be virtually guaranteed a spot on the November ballot.

"We're tremendously pleased with the way the people have responded to our efforts to preserve their freedom to vote for the person and not the party," said Grange President Terry Hunt. "Washington voters feel a sincere connection with this issue, and that's reflected in the high number of signatures we received. They had to believe strongly enough in the issue to be willing to sign the initiative petitions."

Initiative 872 will ensure that voters can vote for any candidate in any office in a primary election. The system will look similar to the blanket primary system that voters have enjoyed for 70 years. This year, voters will have to choose a party ballot at the primary as a result of a system Governor Gary Locke signed into law, in spite of widespread public opposition.

"This just goes to show how out of touch the Governor and the political parties are with the voters of Washington State," said Hunt. "But the voters will now have the opportunity to speak out, affect change and restore their freedoms. The voters will pass this initiative in November. Period.

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