Advisory tax votes that have no legal weight are on the chopping block.

Washington News
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The advisory votes on taxes that had no legal weight and were previously included on general election ballots would no longer be included. Known more colloquially as advisory votes, post-legislative voter participation on statewide tax proposals is something that the Washington State Legislature has opted to do away with.

The relevance of this is that supporters of doing away with advisory votes believe that they make ballots excessively long and confusing for voters, who may get under the impression that they are taking part in a genuine referendum in which they can alter a law. Those who advocated for the use of advisory votes to be carried on maintained that they benefited the general population.

The advisory votes were a direct consequence of the anti-tax activist Tim Eyman's efforts in 2007 to pass the initiative known as I-960. However, the votes do not have any weight and do not affect anything.

The advisory vote procedure has never been used to repeal a tax measure before successfully. Rep. Peter Abbarno (R-Centralia) was one of several lawmakers who voiced their opposition to doing away with advisory votes without first putting the issue to a vote of the people.

During his speech on the floor the previous week, Abbarno referred to advisory votes as "a sacred part of the ballot" and "an opportunity for families, for seniors, to share with us what's on their mind."

The Next Steps: At this point, Governor Jay Inslee has the choice of either vetoing or signing the legislation that would reverse the tax advisory votes into law.

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