Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ref. 71 Signature Count Continues; the Nov. election is less than 90 days away

Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 23:11:42 +0000
From: info@equalrightswashington.org
To: kingcountydemocrats@msn.com
Subject: Ref. 71 Signature Count Continues; the Nov. election is less than 90 days away

Dear Susan,

Below is an update on the latest developments for Referendum 71 and Washington Families Standing Together. Many of you have been asking how you can help. Beginning today, WAFST will run weekly phone banks from the ERW and WAFST offices at 7th and Columbia in downtown Seattle.

Please send an email to volunteer@wafst.org to participate in one or more phonebanking days or evenings. Hours for phone banks are Monday through Thursday, 10am until 8 pm, and Friday, from 10 am until 5 pm. Additional questions or immediate scheduling can be directed to Kate Fredenberg by phone at (206) 324-2570. We also ask those who are able to bring personal laptops or cell phones to use during your phonebank session.

As our coalition moves forward, we ask that you make a personal commitment through both financial support and volunteering your time. Join us for this important work.

Connie Watts
Executive Director

CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Washington Families Standing Together (WAFST), the campaign to retain the Domestic Partnership law, has had teams of observers every day from 7:30am to 10:00pm in Olympia monitoring the signature vote count. Please contribute today so that WAFST can continue to vigorously work on behalf of Washington families.

Remember, there is a very low threshold in Washington State to qualify a referendum for the ballot. Even with that low number of signatures needed, because so few were turned in by those trying to repeal the Domestic Partnership law, the Secretary of State must review every signature. WAFST will have trained observers there every day, three shifts a day, until every signature has been checked.

The signature verification process has three steps to it, and the initial numbers reported in the press and on line were based only on the initial step. After signatures are initially checked, any that appear to be invalid are re-checked, and can be added back as valid, if additional information is found. The third step is that counties are consulted to see if they have voters on file who are not in the statewide database. If so, those are added back as well. That's why initial numbers change as the process continues. It will take until the week of August 17 or later before this multi-step review is completed.

That means, if the Secretary of State determines there are enough valid signatures, there will be fewer than 8 weeks before mail-in ballots for the November election will start going out to voters. We cannot sit back and wait. WAFST is moving forward with fund raising, voter contact, social networking, media and all of the other critical elements of a campaign. The WAFST coalition now includes more than 130 organizations and continues to grow daily.

Today we ask you to make a meaningful contribution to the campaign so that we are all doing our part to keep the religious right from rolling back the Domestic Partnership Law. This law protects thousands of families all across Washington State. If Referendum 71 is on the ballot, voters will be asked whether they want to APPROVE or reject the law. To keep the law, we have to make sure voters know they vote to APPROVE it.

Key rights and obligations in the law include death benefits for the partners of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty, pension benefits for the partners of teachers and other public employees, victims' rights, including the right to receive notifications and benefits allowances, t
he right to use sick leave to care for a seriously ill partner, to have workers' compensation benefits if a partner is killed in the course of employment, to receive unemployment benefits if an employee must leave a job to care for a seriously ill partner and to adopt a partner's child without paying for a home study.

Phone Bank Volunteers Needed: We have already started phone banking out of our Seattle office. We are calling Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday, 10am-5pm. If you live outside Seattle we do have the ability to allow people to do phone banking from their homes and in the future will have other phone bank locations. If you would like to volunteer sign up by e-mailing - volunteer@wafst.org or calling 206-324-2570.

Together we will win

Joshua Friedes
Campaign Manager Washington
Families Standing Together

PS: Click here to download our approve Referendum 71 placard that you can hang in your window or post at your favorite coffee shop. Use this as your personal image on Facebook:

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