A veto referendum is a referendum by the people, in this case Referendum 88, to overturn (reject) an Initiative that was approved by the legislature in April 2019.

Referendum 88 was designed to require a vote on I-1000, meaning an approve vote on R-88; approves I-1000 and a reject vote on R-88 rejects I-1000.  The full text of the initiative is here.

The process of passing Initiative 1000

The initiative, with the help of signature gatherers, collected enough signatures to make it an initiative to the legislature in 2019.

The initiative passed the legislature with all voting in favor being Democrats (In the house one Democrat voted no and in the Senate two Democrats Voted no)

The effect of I1000 on a 1998 passed Initiative I-200:

Washington I-200 appeared on the ballot as an Initiative to the Legislature for the election on November 3, 1998. Voters approved I-200 in a vote of 58.22% to 41.78%. I-200 prohibited public institutions from discriminating or granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting.[14][15]

The Washington Supreme Court interpreted I-200 as prohibiting “reverse discrimination where race or gender is used by government to select a less qualified applicant over a more qualified applicant.” The Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an opinion in 2017 stating, “I-200 does not prohibit all race- and sex-conscious measures. Rather, it prohibits only measures that have the effect of elevating less qualified contractors over more qualified contractors.”[16]

Community groups put together a Referendum (88) to Veto the reinstitution of what they consider “unfair affirmative action” laws and the repeal of the 1998 Initiative 200. The groups got enough signatures to get the Veto Referendum on the ballot on November 5th 2019.

Now voters have an option of returning to Initiative 200 law or segregating individuals based on race, sexual orientation, groups they belong to and other “special” discrimination practices for certain jobs, schools etc defined by government.

The result of your vote:

An approve vote supports allowing Initiative 1000 to go into effect, thereby expressly allowing the state to implement affirmative action policies (without the use of preferential treatment or quotas as defined in the initiative) in public employment, education, and contracting.
reject vote supports blocking I-1000 from going into effect, thereby restricting the state from implementing certain affirmative action policies in public employment, education, and contracting.


An upfront thank you to “Ballotpedia” for their information on this report.

Please see Ballotopedia here for more information.

Reject I 1000- Reject R 88

Washington Fairness approve I-1000.