by David Ammons | August 7th, 2009
Confused? So were we when the Referendum 71 webpage posted a signature-rejection rate that was different — lower — than we had been seeing before, and in the daily postings.
So here’s the scoop: Elections Division has decided that a more accurate cumulative error or rejection rate (currently 11.63 percent) should reflect the sizable number of signatures that have been going from the rejected pile to the accepted stack after a master checker reviews the checker’s decision to reject. That is 409 so far. As previously discussed, also nearly 100 signatures that have been set aside because there was no voter signature on file will be shifted over to the “accepted” stack once the counties send the person’s electronic signature.
The daily snapshots are accurate for that day, the numbers move around somewhat but subsequent review can change the error rate. The lower cumulative error rate takes this into account. Sorry this is confusing – it’s the first time they’ve been releasing daily tallies and the reasons for tentative rejection of signatures. It is very dynamic process and numbers move around before they are locked down.
We know that both supporters and foes of the referendum are anxious to project whether R-71 is headed to the ballot and look to daily information as a key indicator of how the full check will turn out. All we can say is that it continues to look close, that the duplicate signatures will play a big role, and that the only number that really counts is whether they have 120,577 valid signatures confirmed by the end of the check. Ordinarily, that would be done in a few days by random sample testing, but now it’s under the microscope for three weeks.