State Election workers processed another 6,140 petition signatures for Referendum 71 Wednesday, the attempt by Protect Marriage Washington to secure a statewide vote this fall on the “everything but marriage” law expanding rights and responsibilities for state-registered domestic partners. Checkers rejected 872 signatures for various reasons, for a daily error rate of 14.2 percent.
By the numbers: The error rate was similar to the 14.4 percent the previous day. Overall, 23,457 signatures have been processed, with a cumulative error rate of 13.31 percent. Sponsors need to get 120,577 of their signatures declared valid in order to secure a ballot spot. They turned in 137,689 signatures back on July 25. That is 14.2 percent above the bare minimum. With their 17,112 extra signatures, they could sustain and overall error rate of 12.42 percent.
The new day’s check, the fourth day of processing by about 20 checkers, showed 6,140 checked, 5,268 accepted and 872 rejected. Of the latter, 23 were duplicate signatures, 71 had no match between the petition signature and the signature on file with the state voter registration database, 758 did not show up on the database as registered voters, and 20 people were at least temporarily not counted because the database didn’t include a signature that could be used for checking. All or most of the latter category could be eventually shifted over to the “accepted” stack when their home counties report back with a legible signature.
Overall, 23,457 names have been checked, 20,335 accepted and 3,122 rejected, for a total error rate of 13.31 percent so far. There have been a total of 68 duplicates, 221 no-match, 2,764 non-voters, and 69 missing a checkable voter-registration signature.
Shane Hamlin, assistant state elections director in charge of the referendum operation, announced that a second shift of checkers will be brought on, beginning Thursday, so the checking can be accelerated. The day shift will work from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the swing shift will work from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. With the new workforce, the Elections Division now is hoping to wrap up the full-signature check by sometime the week of August 17.
Hamlin also says the daily update will be available on the R-71 homepage at www.vote.wa.gov starting mid-day Thursday.