Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Referendum 71 might - or might not - make the ballot (how's that for a prediction?)

The fearmongers behind the effort to force a public vote on Washington State's recently expanded domestic partnerships law announced this evening they have submitted 138,000 signatures to the Secretary of State Sam Reed's office. 120,577 valid signatures are required to qualify a referendum for the ballot.

If the 138,000 estimate is correct, it would mean less than eighteen thousand extra signatures were submitted, which isn't much of a cushion.

(The Secretary of State advises a cushion of at least twenty five percent extra signatures, to offset invalid and duplicate signatures). Communications Director David Ammons notes that typically, eighteen percent of signatures submitted turn out to be invalid. If the error rate on Referendum 71 conforms to that historical average, it won't qualify for the ballot.

Forget eighteen percent, though. Referendum 71's fearmongering backers actually need an invalid rate of less than thirteen percent to qualify for the ballot.

But such a low error rate isn't an impossibility. The Secretary of State's office cheerfully reported last week that Tim Eyman's Initiative 1033 (which has already qualified for the ballot) had a very low invalid rate of twelve percent.

So we're in very marginal territory. This could go either way. It all depends on how many invalid or duplicate signatures there are.

If there aren't many, Referendum 71 qualifies. If there are, it doesn't qualify.

9,359 petitions were submitted; for an average of about fourteen signatures per petition (again, assuming the estimate of 138,000 signatures is correct).

So unfortunately, there isn't much news regarding Referendum 71 to share today. Whether it qualifies or not is still an unresolved question at this point.


Blogger Steve Zemke said...

The difference here is that Referendum 71 signatures were collected by volunteers, not paid signature gatherers. Thus there is a greater likelihood that there will be a higher invalidation rate.

Eyman's signatures were mostly collected with paid signature gatherers. Those signatures are checked against voter registration files to determine an invsalid rate when paid signatiure gatherers turn them in to Eyman's signature gathering firm. Eyman is paying for every signature and isn't going to want to pay people for invalid signatures.
It is a business for Eyman and this only makes sense.

July 26, 2009 11:52 AM  
Blogger Doug T said...

Perhaps this videotaped proof of fraudulent signatures will make a difference:

July 25, 2009 11:41 PM  

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