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Traffic-camera opponents rally to gather signatures

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By Bill Sheets
Herald Writer
MONROE -- Opponents of traffic enforcement cameras hit the streets Saturday to meet a deadline for petition signatures for an anti-camera ballot measure.
Initiative activist Tim Eyman of Mukilteo, who helped a Monroe-based group gather signatures Saturday, said opponents now might need only 30 to 40 more signatures by Friday to get the measure up for a vote.
"People have really rallied to it and come out of the woodwork," Eyman said.
The initiative would require the city to remove the cameras it has already installed and to ask for voter approval before putting up any more. It would reduce fines from camera-generated tickets. The city has yet to issue any citations, but a red-light camera ticket in Monroe could cost $124.
The group, which calls itself Seeds of Liberty, needs 999 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. A core group of about eight volunteers plus a few others gathered 172 signatures Saturday, according to Eyman, bringing the total to 970.
Extra signatures could be needed as a cushion against invalid signatures. Earlier this year, the group gathered 1,234 signatures, Eyman said, but only a little more than half of those were found to be valid. Many of the signers didn't live in the city, or the signatures were invalid for other reasons.
That left the group with 357 signatures to gather by June 10. They gathered 156 on Memorial Day, Eyman said, and spread out across the city again Saturday.
More petitions remain in circulation and could show up in the activist group's post office box during the week, Eyman said. The group hopes to deliver the signatures to City Hall by Thursday, one day before the deadline.
Mukilteo voters passed a similar initiative by 71 percent last year. Monroe is the second city in Snohomish County, after Lynnwood, to install traffic enforcement cameras.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439;
Story tags » MonroeLocal electionsTraffic Safety

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