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I-912 earns a spot on November ballot

Friday marked a partial victory for those who have spent the past month collecting signatures in an effort to repeal the gas tax approved by the Legislature on the last day of the Legislative session.

Volunteer supporters of Initiative 912 spent 32 days collecting the 420,518 signatures that were turned in to the Secretary of State’s office Friday.

The organizers of the initiative had hoped for 285,000 to 300,000 signatures in order to have a cushion for the 225,000 signatures required to get the initiative on the ballot.

According to Lois McMahan, coordinator for I-912 in the 26th District, residents of South Kitsap were more than willing to jot their names for the cause.

“Signature gatherers reported that people flocked to sign this initiative wherever they were available,” McMahan said. “I found that the people who signed when I was collecting were angry...that the Legislature had passed the gas tax increases after the people voted ‘no’ in 2002 and that the Legislature put an ‘emergency clause’ on the legislation to prevent the people’s right to referendum.”

McMahan said the number of signatures collected is a very good indicator of the initiative’s future success.

“People are waking up and becoming more aware of what the Legislature is doing,” McMahan said. “This is a good sign because the more people are aware of what power the Legislature has over their daily lives, the better the decisions they will make when they vote.

“People’s willingness to work on this issue and their outstanding successes is a real encouragement to me personally,” McMahan said. “I am very pleased that the message being sent to the Legislature is one of the need for accountability for present funding before asking the people for more.”

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