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King County

Charter Amendment No. 2
Initiative, Referendum and Charter Amendment Timelines and Processes

Shall the King County Charter be amended to comply with state law timelines for initiative, referendum and charter ballot measures and to clarify definitions and terms  related to the referendum and initiative process?



The King County Charter authorizes county initiatives, referenda and charter amendments. The timelines related to these proposed ballot measures as currently stated in the Charter conflict with state law timelines for placing proposed measures on the ballot. The Charter timelines are based on state statutes that have been amended since the Charter was adopted.


This proposed amendment would replace the outdated Charter timelines with the current state  law timelines and would incorporate any future changes to the state law timelines. The proposed amendment would also change several sections of the Charter to clarify the process for filing proposed initiatives, referenda and charter amendments.

Since voters first approved it in 1969, the King County Charter has provided residents the opportunity to submit initiatives and referenda to the King County Council to be either adopted or put on the ballot for voters to consider. 


Over the years, state law governing the rules for initiatives and referenda has evolved, particularly in terms of timelines for putting measures on the ballot.  In addition, in 2018 the King County Council updated the county code describing the process for initiatives and referenda to align with state law.  Consistent with that prior effort, this charter amendment is largely technical and meant to align the charter with state law and county code, and to provide other clarifications to the process and timelines.


Initiatives and referenda to the King County Council are unusual events, but when they do happen it is important that state law, the county charter, and county code are consistent, provide one set of rules for people to follow, and that the rules are as clear as possible, regardless of the topic.  This charter amendment will achieve that goal.


Please vote Yes on King County Charter Amendment No. 2.

Submitted by: Toby Nixon, E.J. Juarez,

Statements in favor of and in opposition to a ballot measure are submitted by committees appointed by the jurisdiction. No persons came forward to serve on the committee and to write a statement in opposition. If you would like to be involved with a committee in the future please contact the jurisdiction.

Simple majority (King County Charter Section 800) 

For questions about this measure, contact: Patrick Hamacher, Director of Council Initiatives, (206) 477-0880,

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