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An initiative to repeal Issaquah’s ban on plastic shopping bags has enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, King County Elections has determined.

The City Council must decide whether to repeal the ban, which went into effect in March, or to ask voters to decide the issue.

King County Elections notified the city Thursday that it had found 2,597 valid signatures on the initiative petition, topping the 2,549 required.

The City Council voted 5-2 last year to ban most plastic shopping bags and require retailers to collect a 5-cent fee on paper bags.

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Craig Keller, who spearheaded Save Our Choice’s petition to repeal what he called “this nanny bag ban,” also headed unsuccessful efforts in Seattle and Shoreline to repeal their bans on plastic bags.

Keller said Issaquah residents were eager to sign the petition, which he and other volunteers took door-to-door after they found that most people who signed it outside stores had Issaquah addresses but didn’t live inside city limits.

Mayor Ava Frisinger, who supported the bag ban as “reflective of community desires,” said she doesn’t know how the City Council will respond to the initiative.

If the council doesn’t repeal the law, it must put the issue before voters by April.

Keller suggested it could go on the February ballot, when the Issaquah School District is running three levies and Klahanie residents may vote on annexation to Issaquah.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or

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