UPDATE: MediaFire had disabled the previous link after it reached its "download limit." But with a newsroom team effort, I was able to reactivate the link for download as a torrent file.
Download the full file after the jump.
The following file contains a list of names and signatures that, at the moment, the state of Washington will not show you. The thousands of handwritten names are from folks who signed petitions to put Referendum 71 on the ballot in 2009, which would have vetoed Washington's domestic-partner law and limited rights to same-sex couples statewide.
That effort lost. But the effort by gay-rights supporters and others who've been looking to make the names of the petition signers public has remained dedicated.
Now, even though an emergency court order has stopped the state from releasing the names, for five days the enormous file of names was public and we got our copy while it could still be got.
The names were ordered to be released following the unsuccessful lawsuit of the Protect Marriage group, which had sued to keep the names secret, arguing that the petition signers would be harassed.
U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle disagreed on Monday of last week and ordered the file be made public. And until Friday of last week the Secretary of State's office was handing out the DVD's of the names for $16 apiece--30 in total being purchased.
The only reason that the names haven't been published to the web yet (at least anywhere I can find) is likely because the format is so horribly un-user friendly that looking through the list for anything less then a weekend would be futile.
Essentially the names are image (.tiff) files of the scanned petitions. Thousands and thousands of images.
The group KnowThyNeighbor.Org has been working on creating an online, searchable database of the names, but the group's director Tom Lang tells me that it will take weeks to finish.
In the meantime, feel free to put some pajamas on, pour a nice scotch, and curl up with 2.7 gigabytes of democracy.