Initiative Process

UPDATED July, 2021

Whole Washington fights for Universal Healthcare at the local, state, and national level. On this page we’ll focus on the state-based initiative campaign, also known as a ballot measure.


In Washington State, we’re fortunate to have the initiative process, the most direct form of democracy. When our elected officials fail to act, we the people have the power to pass legislation.

There are two types 1) an Initiative to the Legislature and 2) an Initiative to the People. Filing to the Legislature provides more time to collect signatures.

  • To the People’ deadline – July
  • To the Legislature’ deadline – December

We have filed an initiative to the Legislature.


  • When we filed: April 2021
  • Petition Printing/Start of Signature Collection: June 2021
    • Number of signatures needed: approx. 405,000. This amount includes padding for signatures that will be discarded.
  • Deadline to turn in signatures: December 20, 2021

If we turn in the required number of verified signatures by the deadline, the legislature can do one of three things. They can:

  1. Pass it As Is in early 2022 OR
  2. Edit it and put a competing measure on the ballot for a vote in November 2022 (Both versions must be on the ballot)  OR
  3. Put the initiative on the ballot As Is for a vote in November 2022. This is what usually happens.

For more info see I-1362 on Ballotpedia and the Secretary of State’s page on Initiatives and Referenda