Tips for Getting Signatures

Welcome to the Petition Posse! 

Thanks for joining up. We're excited and grateful that you want to be involved. This page will make sure you're prepared, successful and able to recruit more volunteers to the cause. Jump to what you need or read all the way through.


It may go without saying, but if you'll be standing or walking, think of your feet. Make sure you have comfy, sturdy shoes. Dress for the weather and bring some snacks. (Yes, we worry about you and things like this.)

Next arm yourself with the following:

  • Clipboard/signature board with a strong back and signage (instructions on making your own below)
    • Have several boards available at big events so potential signers don’t have to wait to sign.
  • The petitions themselves - don't cut or copy these. They must remain intact. 
  • Pens! Plural. Bring a few.
  • Cheat Sheets for You - The FAQ sheet is very helpful.
  • Literature to Hand Out - The Quarter Sheets can be printed and cut at home.
  • Voter Registration Forms
  • Your Favorite Stopper Line(s) & a brief 30 Second Pitch. You'll get this nailed down pretty quickly. Tips below
  • A Buddy. If you're new to the game, pairing up is a great way to gain confidence. Even after you have it down, pairs and small groups are very effective. 
  • Positivity. Smile. Your cause is just, and this is needed, righteous work. You're meeting the people who will help make this our new reality!


How to Make Petition Boards


  • Campaign yard signs are perfect for 2 petition boards.
    • These 18” x 24” plastic campaign signs can be found at political parties or from campaign workers after elections. Some counties may also have stored some.
  • If you can’t find these plastic boards, STURDY cardboard can be used.
  • Rubber bands and big black binder clips will hold the petition in place.
  • Connect rubber bands in a chain to keep a pen connected to the board.
  • Clear plastic “table cloth” ($3.49/yard at local hardware stores) can be cut to lay atop the petition for rainy days.

Check out the Literature page for full materials.

  • Petition Backer - to tape on the back side of the board, draw attention and identify you as a volunteer for a VERY popular idea

Great to have laminated and on hand for people to read: 

Great for handouts for people to take with them:

Since you'll be making 2 boards, give one to a friend and gather signatures together! It's way more fun.


Stopper Lines & Pitches

  • Sample stopper line: “Do you know about I-1600?”
    Pitch: It's an initiative to make healthcare available for ALL Washingtonians regardless of age, ability to pay or pre-existing conditions.


  • Sample stopper line #2: “Do you believe quality healthcare should be for everyone?
    Pitch: Then you may want to sign my petition. This ballot initiative is to assure healthcare for all Washingtonians regardless of age, ability to pay or pre-existing conditions.


  • Sample stopper line #3: “Hi! I'm a volunteer with Whole Washington. Can you help us get universal healthcare on this November's ballot?" 
    Pitch: We have a huge opportunity to fix our broken system, save money and get healthcare for everyone in the state.


Where to Go to Get Signatures?

First, start by asking your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.

Then, go where the people are. Numbers are critical here. Just a reminder, we need over 300,000 signatures by early July, so our work is cut out for us. It makes a lot of sense to go where you have to do the least amount of walking to get the most amount of signatures. 

  • Join our Facebook Group: Whole Washington Volunteers. You'll find a ton of upcoming events with massive potential. Big crowds, like-minded folks. Look for the red banner in the event photos.
  • You can also put in your location at our Signature Gathering Events page to see what's close to you. 
  • Canvassing door to door is another idea if you're comfortable knocking on doors. Often times, the sign on the back of your petition board will do a lot of the heavy lifting. People WANT to sign.
  • Go to Community colleges, bus stops, job information fairs.
  • Organization meetings are amazing opportunities. Never forget your clipboard!
  • Any place where people are waiting in lines, such as a ferry terminal are great. (Check with the staff to get a safety vest) or where there's a lot of foot traffic, such as libraries, post offices, town hall meetings, farmer markets, malls, supermarkets.

Remember according to WASHINGTON STATE LAW, signature gathering is constitutionally guaranteed on public space but does not extend to all commercial private property open to the public. Private property owners can restrict where, when or how petitions can be circulated within limits. Limits might include how close you are to entrances and exits, the potential for blocking traffic or interfering with the business involved.


When Someone Shows Interest

  1. Ask if they're a registered voter
    • If no, have them complete a Voter Register Form With that in hand, you can have them sign the petition.
      • Give the forms to your point person. These forms need to be mailed within 5 days to county or state.
    • If yes, they're registered, tell them “Your signature goes here, then print your name, address and county clearly.”
  2. Thank them for signing.
  3. If the person says they need more information/wants to think about it,
    • Remind them, signing only gets the issue on the ballot so voters have a choice. You're not voting yes, by signing.
    • Hand them a “quarter sheet”, let them know about and assure them they can sign later—we’ll be collecting signatures through the Fourth of July.


Some Final Tips

  • Read the I-1600 Question & Answer sheet and keep it with you. Be prepared to briefly answer questions or have it handy so they can read it for themselves.
  • Hold up your clipboard so that “Sign my petition to get Universal Healthcare on the ballot” is clearly visible. It's very powerful all on its own. Many people will approach you without the need for a stopper line or pitch. 
  • Don't hold lengthy conversations or argue with the opposition. Just keep moving on with that positivity of yours. 

When you've got some completed petitions, read up on how to Return a Petition


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