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Viewers raise concerns about possible petition misinformation

Some KREM 2 viewers are concerned about signature gatherers misleading the public in a scramble to collect signatures.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. -- From placing term limits on politicians to increasing the age requirement to buy firearms signature gatherers are out in force collecting signatures for a number of ballot initiatives. And some KREM 2 viewers are concerned about signature gatherers misleading the public in a scramble to garner support for their cause.

KREM 2 received messages from multiple people who said signature gatherers were trying to get people to sign for a gun reform initiative by saying they were gathering signatures on the grocery tax initiative.

One viewer told us she was at grocery store in Mead. She said the signature gatherer said she was collecting signatures regarding the grocery tax which is Ballot Measure 1634. But there was a sign on the table for Initiative 1639. Initiative 1639 is a gun reform initiative. The viewer told KREM 2 she felt misled, and it was not clear which petition people were actually signing. The other viewer who messaged us had a similar experience at a store in Spokane.

KREM 2 News later found a signature gatherer at a Spokane grocery store. The person collecting signatures had two different petitions; one for the grocery tax and one for the gun reform initiative.

An Initiative 1639 spokesperson said anyone can volunteer to work on the campaign and collect signatures. The spokesperson said they train their volunteers very well and they expect them to be knowledgeable and clear about the issue they support. The spokesperson added they also use an outside firm who hires signature gatherers.

KREM 2 reached out to that firm to find out how they train their people, but as of Friday evening has not heard back.

Washington State law requires petitions to have a full title and summary of the measure. The entire measure is usually printed on the back of the petition. If you have any questions as to what you are signing you are encouraged to take a few moments and read more about it.

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