A citizen-led initiative that would codify what body parts can be barred in public in Spokane won’t be on the November ballot after it failed to get the needed signatures.
The initiative was sponsored by Beth Solscheid, who along with other local moms concerned about bikini barista stands in town collected over 3,000 signatures to qualify it for the November ballot.
Supporters of the initiative say they’re not against bikini barista stands, and their gripe is with stands that feature women wearing nothing or next to nothing, with some located in very public places.
If passed, the initiative would have specifically stated what body parts can be barred in public.
According to numbers from the County Auditor’s Office, only 53 percent of the signatures were valid. Nearly 18 percent of the signatures were deemed invalid because individuals who signed it lived outside of Spokane. The second most common reason, at 16 percent, was the person who signed wasn’t registered to vote.
Mike McLaughlin, Spokane County elections manager, says that sometimes a signature gatherer will collect signatures outside of a grocery store near the city limits. People who reside outside Spokane might shop at these stores, and, while they’re there, put an invalid signature on a petition, he says.
Supporters of the initiative collected more than the required 2,477 signatures to serve as a buffer against invalid signatures and had high hopes that the measure would easily pass scrutiny
Solscheid couldn’t be reached for comment, but a long-winded post on the campaign’s Facebook
page from Kimberly Curry expressed disappointment with the results and faulted the city council for taking action on the issue.
“At every grocery store we stood outside of collecting signatures over the last year, all the doors we knocked and luncheons we spoke at people asked why our City Council was not exerting leadership over city affairs by putting this issue on the ballot rather than five mothers standing outside, often times with their children, doing the job for them,” reads the post.