Washington voters to decide affirmative action, car tab measures

Voters in Washington state this week decide a referendum on affirmative action, and an initiative on the price of car tabs.

Tuesday’s election includes scores of local contests across the state, such as city council and mayoral races, judicial races, and two legislative seats where recent appointees face challenges as they seek election to a full term.

However, most of the statewide focus is on the ballot measures. Referendum 88 asks voters whether they want to approve or reject Initiative 1000, which was passed by the Legislature in April. I-1000 amends current statutes to allow one’s minority status to be considered as a contributing factor in state employment, contracting, and admission to public colleges in universities.

Also, the Tim Eyman-backed Initiative 976 would lower most taxes paid through annual vehicle registration to $30 and largely revoke the authority of state and local governments to add taxes and fees without voter approval. The measure also would repeal taxes and fees already in place, potentially costing the state and local governments more than $4 billion in revenue over the next six years, according to the state Office of Financial Management.

Meanwhile, Resolution 8200 would broaden the section on “continuity of governmental operations in periods of emergency” so that continuity is ensured not only in case of attack but also in case of “catastrophic incidents” like a massive earthquake. The measure passed the Legislature earlier this year with strong bipartisan support.

Voters are also deciding on 12 non-binding advisory votes on revenue bills approved by the Legislature earlier this year. Washington is an all-mail-ballot state, and ballots must be postmarked or deposited in local drop boxes by 8 PM Tuesday. (AP)