A group driving the effort to make sure Referendum 71 passes says recent polling data suggests they have their work cut out for them. While 51% of respondents in the survey said they would vote to approve when read the exact text of the referendum, survey participants who were ‘unsure’ of what R-71 is about “tend to vote ‘no,’” according to the Approve 71 campaign.
Here is the language for the referendum voters will see in November:
REFERENDUM 71 Ballot Title Statement of Subject:
The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].
Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.
Should this bill be:
Approved ___ Rejected __
And here is the release about the polling data from Approve 71:
SEATTLE – The Approve 71 campaign today released polling data that shows the campaign to protect all of Washington’s families and the state’s domestic partnership law promises to be a tough fight that hinges on strong voter turnout and broad voter contact.
Following certification of R-71 on Sept. 2, 2009, the Approve 71 campaign commissioned Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) to conduct a statewide survey of voters likely to vote in Washington’s upcoming general election.
“We have seen over the years that an increasing majority of Washingtonians support equality under the law for all Washington families,” said Anne Levinson, Approve 71 campaign chair. “But we know that in an off-year election voter turnout trends to older, more conservative voters, and as much as half of the general population won’t be voting, so we wanted to ask just likely voters about specific ballot language.”
The poll result numbers strongly suggest it will be a close election.
- When voters are read the exact ballot language, they divide 51 percent “approve” and 44 percent “reject.”
“The poll suggests the same trend we’ve seen across the country, the highest margins of support are among younger voters and those who vote less frequently, particularly urban voters,” Levinson said. “The R-71 election is likely to have a very narrow margin and since the measure was certified so late, we only have a few weeks to reach voters to explain what the domestic partnership law is and how it protects families. It is critical that those who support the law turn out to vote.”
Further complicating matters is the fact that when voters are unsure of what a measure is about, they tend to vote “no.” With R-71, supporters of domestic partnership law have the approve position.
“Every voter who cares about ensuring that all Washington families have equal protection under state law must talk to their friends and family about the importance of voting approve on R-71. Thousands of families across the state are counting on us,” Levinson said.