In the 2007 legislative session, Referendum 4204 was passed. The Referendum, a measure that changed the state constitution, allows school levies to pass with a 50%-plus-1 vote instead of a 60% supermajority.
The Washington State Constitution (Article VII, Para. 2) provides a formula for passage of excess bonds. The number of voters who voted in the taxing district at the last preceding November election becomes the basis of the formula. Bond issues require that 60% of 40% of those who voted in the last preceding November election be favorable to the passage of bonds. The “yes” vote must represent at least 60% of the votes cast in the election.
IN ADDITION, there is a turnout requirement. At least 40% of those who voted in the last November election must vote in the election for the bond issue to pass.
If 100,000 votes were cast in the taxing district in the last November election, at least 40,000 voters must cast a vote in the bond election. In addition, at least 60% of this number, or 24,000 voters, must vote “yes”. There must be a minimum of 60% approval for the bond issue to pass. If 50,000 voters cast a vote in the bond election, then 30,000 “yes” votes would be required for passage.