Responsible Choices is a impartial, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that educates and informs Washington State voters about who is funding initiatives and the impact of ballot measures on Washington citizens and state and local governments.
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government…”
Responsible Choices is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit corporation.
Here’s what’s happening…
The Washington Citizens’ Initiative Review
(HB 1364); (SB 5535)
Ballot measures in Washington drive some of the state’s largest policy and fiscal decisions, yet voters often find measures too complicated or confusing to understand. Accurate and unbiased information is not only difficult to come by, it is often drowned out by well-funded campaigns advocating for or against an initiative.
A pilot project of the Citizens’ Initiative Review will put clear and trustworthy information into the hands of Washington citizens, cutting through the noise by providing voters with an unbiased and factual evaluation using a unique deliberative process based on solid evidence.
How it Works
- A panel of 20 Washington citizens is randomly selected and demographically balanced to match the state’s electorate along seven key criteria (gender, age, ethnicity, geographic location, party affiliation, educational attainment, and likelihood of voting).
- The panel takes several days to evaluate a statewide ballot measure, hearing directly from policy experts as well as advocates for and against the measure.
- Panelists collectively draft a Citizens’ Statement highlighting the most important findings about the measure as well as reasons to support or oppose it.
- Each Citizens’ Statement is published prominently in the voters’ pamphlet.
Oregon has used the Citizens’ Initiative Review since 2010, and the findings have proven to be extremely useful to voters. Research funded by the National Science Foundation has shown:
- In 2012, half of Oregon voters read a CIR statement.
- Two-thirds found it helpful in making voting decisions.
- Voters who read a CIR Statement learned more about a measure than those given other parts of the voters’ pamphlet
- Building on bipartisan support for the CIR in Oregon, this proposal has broad support from bipartisan groups including League of Women Voters of Washington, Responsible Choices, and the King County Bar Association.
- Numerous lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate are co-sponsoring the bill.
Contact: Erin Dziedzic: 425-466-5177 or David Foster: 206-372-8523