by David Ammons | August 7th, 2009
State election officials continue posting fresh numbers in their closely watched check of signatures for Referendum 71, with the latest complete numbers for Thursday now showing 6,483 checked and 935 rejected, for a cumulative daily error rate of 14.42 percent. The previously announced rejection rate for the day-shift check was running a bit higher, almost 15 percent.
Thursday was the first day the Elections Division used two shifts of checkers. At the new rate, the verification process could be completed in another week to 10 days.
With the evening crew’s work included, the updated numbers for Thursday: 6,483 were rejected, with 5,548 accepted and 935 rejected or awaiting an electronic signature from the voter’s home county. The day’s rejection rate was 14.42 percent. The signatures not accepted included 742 people who are not registered to vote in Washington, 45 whose signature appeared more than once, 128 whose signature did not match the one on file, and 20 who were missing a signature on the state voter registration database. Many, if not all, of the latter group will eventually be shifted over to the accepted pile once their counties report back with an electronic signature.
The new grand totals as the Friday check began: 29,940 signatures have been checked so far, 25,883 accepted and 4,057 rejected or deferred so far, for a cumulative error rate of 13.55 percent. That was the highest daily error rate so far, and above the 12.42 percent rate that sponsors will be able to absorb once all signatures have been counted. The Secretary of State’s Office has also used a 14.2 percent number to express the excess number of signatures — 17,112 — that sponsors submitted above and beyond the bare minimum required to nail down a fall ballot position, 120,577. But the more important number to watch is the error rate — 12.42 percent. Sponsors will actually be able to sustain even lower than that rate going forward, because they have been exceeding the rate almost from the beginning. Election workers plan to check every single signature.
The numbers, which are posted on the special R-71 webpage , show that the signatures not accepted so far include 3,506 who are not registered to vote in Washington, 113 duplicates, 349 whose signatures don’t match the one on file, and 89 awaiting a checkable signature from the person’s home county.