Within ten days after the ordinance is passed by the county council, any registered voter of Snohomish County may file a referendum petition signed by one hundred (100) registered voters of Snohomish County against the ordinance or portion thereof with the officer in charge of holding elections. Within 15 days of the filing of the petition, the officer in charge of holding elections shall verify the sufficiency of the signatures. After filing of the referendum petition, and verification of the signatures on the referendum petition, the ordinance or portion thereof so referred shall be suspended until the officer in charge of holding elections shall determine that petitions with sufficient numbers of signatures to place the referendum on the ballot have not been filed within the allocated time, or until the voters have ratified and approved the ordinance or portion thereof. The filing of a referendum petition against a portion of an ordinance shall not delay the remainder of the measure from taking effect.
Within five working days of filing the referendum petition, the officer in charge of holding elections shall confer with the petitioner to review the proposal as to form and style as required by such officer or ordinance. The officer in charge of holding elections shall give the referendum petition a number, which shall thereafter be the identifying number for the measure and shall then transmit a copy of the petition to the prosecuting attorney, who within ten working days after receipt thereof, shall formulate a concise statement, posed as a question, not to exceed fifty words, which shall express and give a true and impartial statement of the measure being referred. Such concise statement will be the ballot title. The prosecuting attorney shall then file the ballot title with the officer in charge of holding elections, who shall provide notice of the ballot title to the petitioner. The ballot title shall be subject to appeal in accordance with state law.
The petitioner shall have forty-five days after the ballot title is filed with the officer in charge of holding elections or, if the ballot title is appealed, forty-five days after a final decision of the court on the appeal to collect the signatures of registered voters of the county equal in number to not less than five percent of the number of votes cast in the county in the last governor’s election. Each petition shall contain the full text of the measure being referred and the ballot title.
The officer in charge of holding elections shall verify the sufficiency of the signatures on the petition and, if it is validated, submit the measure to the people at the next general election being not less than one hundred twenty days from the submission of the petition for signature verification.