Election officials have processed another 5,815 Referendum 71 signatures, rejecting 14.4 percent.
Rounding out the third day of R-71 checks, 17,317 signatures have now been processed, with a total of 15,067 accepted so far. It takes 120,577 valid voter signatures to gain a place on the statewide November ballot. Sponsors, a conservative social-action group called Protect Marriage Washington, turned in137,689 names on July 25, and the state Elections Division is doing an every-signature check to see if the people are on the state voter rolls and that the signature on the petition and the voter registration card match.
The error rate was the highest of any seen during the first three days of scrutiny. The day’s count included 22 duplicates, 69 where the signatures did not match, 732 where the person does not appear on the voter rolls, and 12 where the voter roll shows the person but doesn’t provide a signature to compare. That was a total of 835 signatures that were not accepted on Tuesday.
All told, there have been 45 duplicate signatures, 150 n0-match, 2,006 non-voters, and 49 where the state is checking with the county for a signature. Some or all of those may be added to the accepted list if the signatures come back and compare OK.
The sponsors are trying to force a public vote on the state’s new “everything but marriage” expansion of rights and responsibilities for state-registered domestic partners. The bill, Senate Bill 5688, ordinarily would have taken effect on July 26, but is on hold when the referendum by foes is pending.
The state Elections Division has just created a special Web page with all things R-71. Starting Wednesday, the check updates will also live there.