On November 30, 2006, the Governor received an appeal from Rhys Sterling relating to the Office of the Secretary of State's denial of a petition to amend Chapters 434-220, 434-230, and 434-335 WAC. The Governor's Office denied Mr. Sterling's Petition on January 12, 2007.
DATE: January 17, 2007
Richard E. Mitchell
General Counsel to the Governor
January 12, 2007
P.O. Box 218
Hobart, WA 98025-0218
Re: Rule Petition Concerning Chapters 434-220, 434-230, and 434-335 WAC
Dear Mr. Sterling:
This letter is in response to your renewed petition dated November 29, 2006. In that petition, you requested that I recommend to the Secretary of State the adoption of amended rules allowing the addition of a "None of the Above" option on the party preference section of a partisan primary election ballot.
You first petitioned to the Governor's Office on this issue on August 10, 2006. By letter dated September 19, 2006, we responded to that petition noting that the Governor lacked jurisdiction to consider petitions to adopt new rules under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). On September 25, 2006, you requested a clarification of that letter, which denied your petition on jurisdictional grounds. On September 26, 2006, we sent the clarification. You subsequently revised your petition to the Secretary of State to amend rules, which was denied, and are now appealing the second denial.
After reviewing your re-petition concerning amended rules and the Office of the Secretary of State's response, I concur with its decision and am therefore also denying your repetition to me.
During the 2006 Legislative Session, the Legislature heard testimony on the issue of whether to include a "None of the Above" option on a consolidated primary ballot and declined to pass the bill. See House Bill 2484, 2006 Legislative Session. Additionally, the Secretary of State expressed reasonable concerns about your recommended amendments. Considering these concerns and the Legislature's interest in this matter, I decline to recommend your suggested changes to the Secretary of State.
I appreciate your commitment to ensuring the protection of our election system and encourage you to continue to work with your local representative on this issue.
Christine O. Gregoire
cc: Katie Blim, Assistant Director of Elections, Secretary of State
Antonio Ginatta, Executive Policy Advisor, Governor's Office