Perhaps it was pushback from citizens, or his 'handlers' and advisors warned him about potential issues, but Gov. Inslee has now said the restaurant 'sign-in' requirement will be made optional.

Although he has not formally publicly dropped it, he told the Everett Herald "“I think where we’ll end up is giving customers an option of leaving a phone number or not..."

As part of the Phase One re-open, restaurants were required to have patrons leave their name, phone number and email on a list to be kept for 30 days. The state's claim was in case any COVID 'breakouts' or cases occur, they would be able to 'track' and find out who might be sick if not reported.  It was considered a requisite for the June 1 Phase Two, where these businesses would resume almost normal operations.

However, while no concrete reasons were given by Inslee, it's quite obvious the plan would not have worked the way he wanted it to.

We do NOT know if it was his idea, more likely, his advisors cautioned him with the following information. This is also corroborated by the thousands of posts we've seen on social media concerning how citizens would respond to this -- and some already were:

  • Concerns over safeguarding the personal information between the restaurant and the state. There are concerns the state will not be able go 'guard' the data and prevent breaches.
  • Concerns over citizens leaving fake names, numbers and bogus email addresses. One of the more popular phone numbers we saw being suggested on social media was "867-5309," the number from the famous Tommy Tutone Song about phone numbers on a bathroom wall.
  • No official comment has been made, but we've heard from credible sources that officials were already seeing people use various government emails, including Inslee's one for public comment, on these restaurant lists; or fake email addresses.
  • Some had suggested requiring patrons show ID such as a driver's license, but legal experts say that would have opened up a whole new can of worms.

Indications are the information sharing will be voluntary, but critics say that's pointless.  If you only have partial information, and it's believed most people will not do it, there's no point in keeping such lists. There's also the issue of privacy, legalities over intrusion.

It's also possible Inslee and government officials are starting to hear rumblings about lawsuits, legal action and other pushback concerning this and other COVID policies that many experts say are already testing the limits of the Constitution and personal liberites.

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