Among the questions being posed to voters in Washington this year are four advisory votes. We’ve heard from some voters who are confused by these, so we went to Secretary of State Kim Wyman for an explanation.
MyNorthwest 2020 Voters Guide
“Advisory votes came out of an initiative several years ago that require any tax or fee increase that’s passed by the state Legislature to appear in the voters’ pamphlet and on the November General Election ballot in an advisory capacity, where voters get to express their support or their opposition to the passage of those fee and tax measures,” Wyman explained.
Advisory votes are the result of a Tim Eyman initiative and first landed on your ballot in 2012. But what does it actually mean when you cast your vote for these?
“They don’t have any kind of legal binding, other than they will show that voters that participated in the election approved or disapproved of that tax measure by whatever percentage rate they are approved or rejected by,” explained Wyman.
Last year’s ballot saw a dozen advisory votes on the ballot, and there’s been a lot of criticism, including from Democratic Senator Patrick Kuderer, who pushed to change the law during the last two legislative sessions.
“We know that the way that they’re currently designed, they are meant to influence opinion,” Kuderer said during a February committee hearing on a proposed bill tweak how the state handles advisory votes. “They are really taxpayer funded push polls that have the intent of fostering a negative