The latest on R71: 110,288 signatures counted, 27,401 to go

By | August 26, 2009 | 0 Comments

Today’s update on Referendum 71 counting (and re-counting): 110,288 signatures have been checked.

Accepted: 97,261
Rejected: 13,027
Error rate: 11.81 percent
Signatures needed to make the ballot: 120,577
Or: 23,316 more than they have now
Signatures left to be counted: 27,401
(R71 supporters turned in 137,689 signatures total)

Go here for more from the Secretary of State’s Office.

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R71 update: 104,000 signatures counted, error rate still lower than needed

By | August 25, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Elections Division continues counting on Referendum 71: Now, they’ve counted 103,898 signatures. Of those, 91,716 have been accepted. Supporters need 120,577 signatures in order for the referendum to go to a vote in November.

There’s some heated discussion on the counting process over at the Secretary of State’s blog.

Also: They’ve got an interesting post up about the special care used to check ethnic names.

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Update on R71: 9,000 more signatures checked and counting

By | August 24, 2009 | 0 Comments

As of the last update, about 97,000 signatures have been counted for Referendum 71. The totals: 86,000 signatures are good, 11,600 aren’t. R71 backers need 120,577 valid signatures in order to put the vote over domestic partner benefits expansion to the public.

Meanwhile, there’s been some more confusion about counts: The voter registration database that they’re checking signatures against was actually pulled earlier in the summer, for the I-1033 count. And that means some of the signatures that were initially rejected (or temporarily rejected, I should say), have been found in a newer batch of registrations. Read more about that here.

Finally, if you’re interested in some civic debate, check out the comments section of those blog posts. They’ve been busy over at the Secretary of State’s office!

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Today’s R71 update: Interested in seeing how the signatures for R71 are being counted?

By | August 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

The Secretary of State’s Office is still counting signatures — now they’ve got more than half counted, and will release new figures later this afternoon. Wonder how the counting is done? The Secretary of State’s Office blog, From Our Corner, put up this video, produced by Christina Siderius, about the process:

Go here to read the rest.

In other news, the office has submitted an argument that R71 signer names should be a public record. Read about that here.

And Pete Callaghan at The News Tribune reported today that the sponsors of R71 are accusing Sam Reed of caving to the “homosexual lobby.” They say speeding up the signature count leads to a higher rate of denied signatures, which lessens their chance of getting R71 to the ballot.

Stay tuned. As a reminder, R71 supporters want to put to vote the domestic partnership expansion law the Legislature passed this session. If it goes to a vote, a “yes” vote would affirm the Legislature and Governor’s efforts. A “no” vote would repeal.

Update: The Secretary of State’s Office and Elections Division have responded to claims that they’re messing up the count. Go here to read the full rebuttal.

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R71 updates galore: Potential lawsuit, public records fight, new math …

By | August 12, 2009 | 0 Comments

There’s so much to update on Referendum 71. (R71, if it gets enough signatures to make the ballot, would put to vote whether the state-granted rights and responsibilities of marriage should be extended to domestic partners in Washington. A “yes” vote would affirm the Legislature-passed, Governor-signed bill to extend those rights.)

First, the math:
Last week, there was some confusion and discussion over the math used to calculate the error rate. Read about it here and here. Then there was more confusion over what signatures were counted in the count: Initially, the denied signature count included signatures that still needed to be verified.

The upshot: Yesterday, the Secretary of State’s office changed what numbers they’re reporting: Instead of a complete daily breakdown of yes, no and maybe signatures, they are now reporting only the yes signatures to avoid confusion. Make sense?

By that count, the error rate is 10.42 percent: The office says that’s too close to call.

Next up: The group supporting Referendum 71 wanted the Public Disclosure Commission to hold an emergency hearing over whether donors and signers of R71 petitions should be disclosed. The PDC responded that donors are public record, no special hearing would be held, and that they’d take the matter up at their next regularly scheduled meeting, on Aug. 27.

Finally, there may be a lawsuit in the works over the signature count, according to Brad Shannon. Read all about it here.

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An update on R-71: Error rate is higher, signatures should be counted within 10 days

By | August 7, 2009 | 0 Comments

In a week to 10 days, we will finally know whether Referendum 71, which would put the domestic partnership expansion bill passed by the Legislature to a vote, will make the ballot this fall.

For now, the Secretary of State’s Office is checking every single one of the 138,000-some signatures submitted by petitioners. And what we know is that the numbers are close: Of the nearly 29,940 signatures verified so far, 25,883 have been accepted. That means about 13.55 percent of the signatures do not count, either because the name doesn’t match someone on Washington’s voter rolls, the signature doesn’t match, or there’s no signature on file with the state. (In those instances, the state is seeking signature verification from counties.)

R-71 needs 120,577 valid signatures to make the ballot. Stay tuned. There will be another update this afternoon.

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Every single R71 signature will need to be verified, court order holds names private for now

By | July 30, 2009 | 0 Comments

Every single one of the 137,689 signatures turned in for Referendum 71 — which would cancel out the Legislature’s “everything but marriage” law for domestic partners — will need to be verified by the Secretary of State’s office, according to their blog.

That will take weeks.

Why such a thorough check? The average signature error for initiatives is 18 percent. The sponsors of R71 have 14 percent more signatures than needed. So, if the average number of them were invalid, they don’t have enough valid voter signatures. And since it’s so close, they’ll need to validate each signature against voter rolls.

But: A lower rate isn’t unheard of. Tim Eyman recently celebrated when his I-1033 was found to have 10 percent invalid signatures in the sample taken by the Secretary of State’s office.

Signature validation begins on Friday, according to Dave Ammons, communication director with Secretary of State Sam Reed’s office.

More from Ammons: “The news came amid a controversy over whether the 9,359 petition sheets should be made public. Ordinarily, the Secretary of State releases such information whenever a public records request is made, but the sponsors secured a federal court order blocking release at least until a full hearing is held on Sept. 3. Some supporters of the new domestic-partner law have said they want to post the names and addresses of the signer on the Internet. R-71 sponsors say that would lead to harassment and intimidation of those voters and would violate their First Amendment rights.”

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Update on R-71: Signatures are in

By | July 27, 2009 | 0 Comments

On Saturday, the group behind Referendum 71 — which would cancel the implementation of the 2009 Legislature’s “everything but marriage” law for domestic partners -- turned in their signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. They estimated that they had 138,000 voter signatures.

The signatures will be scanned for archives, counted and then checked for validity, according to Dave Ammons, communications director for the Secretary of State. The process could take up to two weeks. Here‘s more of what Ammons has on the matter.

The “everything but marriage” law was supposed to take effect on Sunday — this puts that on hold. If R-71 don’t have the signatures to make the ballot, the law will go into effect as soon as that’s determined. If it does have the signatures, the law will be on hold until election results are determined: If R-71 passes, the extension to domestic partner benefits passed by the Legislature last session will not go into effect, if it fails, the benefits go into effect once the election is certified.