Majority of freeholder candidates receptive to initiatives referendums

first_imgThe overwhelming opinion of freeholder candidates in Clark County is to offer the powers of initiative and referendum to the voters in a new county charter.Of the 67 freeholder candidates who responded to the matter in a survey by The Columbian, 53 say they favor — or gave positive feedback regarding — the initiative and referendum process. Ten individuals said they are still considering the topic. Just four said they were opposed to the powers of initiative and referendum.The power of initiative gives voters direct lawmaking authority, authorizing them to vote on changes to county codes and laws.Referendum allows voters to ask commissioners to reconsider certain laws or rules. It also offers commissioners an opportunity to pass legislation, then send it to a vote of the people before it is finalized.Every charter county in the state of Washington has given residents the powers of initiative and referendum. And that near-universal support of initiative and referendum is often tempered only by the rules surrounding how it will be implemented — and that voters keep context in mind.Carolyn Long, a political science professor at Washington State University Vancouver who specializes in politics and elections, said “context is key when you look at initiative and referendum,” as several of them are “bland” and not as far-reaching as folks might expect.last_img

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