Plan to force a vote on Issaquah’s bag ban may fail

September 17, 2013

By Peter Clark

New: Sept. 17, 4:18 p.m.

King County has preliminarily invalidated more than 1,500 signatures from the Issaquah bag ban appeal Sept. 13.

In a letter sent to City Clerk Tina Eggers and Save Our Choice co-founder Craig Keller, King County Voter Services Program Manager Julie Wise wrote that the submitted petition had failed the department’s first review. However, it has not released an official certificate of insufficiency.

The ban means that most Issaquah businesses are not able to give customers plastic bags for their goods.

Save Our Choice has sought to bring the recent ban on plastic bags to a public referendum, unhappy that it passed through the City Council without receiving a larger vote.

“Currently, of the 3,687 signatures submitted and reviewed, 2,121 were determined to be registered voters of King County within the city of Issaquah,” Wise wrote. “Since that number does not meet the required 2,549, the petition is insufficient.”

The county will review the signatures again before issuing the certificate of insufficiency. County Communications Manager Kim van Ekstrom said that could happen by Sept. 20.

If the county does take that step, the petitioners have 10 days to add more signatures and resubmit the petition for approval, according to the Initiative and Referendum Guide for Washington City and County charters. If the county finds it insufficient a second time, the petition fails and the drive for signatures must begin anew.

Keller had hoped for a citizen-led referendum to decide the fate of the ordinance.

He did not respond for comment before the Review’s deadline.

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