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R-71 update: Friday night and nearly 131,000 sigs checked

by Brian Zylstra | August 28th, 2009

The latest signature update for Referendum 71 shows that virtually 130,000 signatures have been reviewed, with well over 114,000 of them being accepted. 

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About 4,300 signatures have been counted since Thursday’s update, bringing the cumulative total to 129,996 checked signatures. Of this total, 114,583 have been accepted and 15,413 have been rejected for one reason or another. The overall error rate is now 11.86 percent, a shade above the 11.81 percent reported Thursday. In order to make the November statewide ballot, the referendum’s overall rejection rate must not go over 12.4 percent.

The R-71 sponsors, Protect Marriage Washington, need 120,577 valid Washington voter signatures for the measure to be placed on the ballot. Elections Director Nick Handy has announced that the signature check is expected to be finished by September 1.

And now, the breakdown of the rejections: 12,193 people whose registration were not found, 1,310 whose petition signature did not match the one on file, 1,856 duplicates and 54 examples where checkers have asked the voter’s home county for an electronic signature that can be compared with the signature on the petition.

For those of you following the “third check,” Elections Division staff reviewed Volumes 365-399 on Thursday. In doing so, the staff added 105 “accepted’s” and there are a few names that staff needs signature images from the counties to evaluate. Overall, there have been 1,098 “accepted’s” added to the referendum’s total number of accepted signatures because of the third check. This spreadsheet shows the volume (399, highlighted in yellow) that checkers have reached.  The third check process was started as a way to review the names of petition signers whose names did not appear on the snapshot of the voter registration database that checkers had been using from the start of the checking process. The live version of this database is being used to check those names in question.

The R-71 sponsors are trying to overturn the recently adopted “everything but marriage” law (SB 5688) that expands state rights and responsibilities to state-registered domestic partners so that they equal those granted to married couples.

5 Responses to “R-71 update: Friday night and nearly 131,000 sigs checked”

  1. Has anyone else noticed how election officials say “this is the way it’s always been done” in response to someone questioning the procedures is what heterosexual-only marriage advocates say?

  2. Almost there!

  3. J Scooter says:

    R71 is likely to qualify by about 1,000 votes — which is less than the number of people who signed and who the SoS has no idea of whether they were registered to vote (as required by the STATE CONSTITUTION) at the time they signed the petitions. The SoS claims that is has to err on the side of accepting questionable signatures, and that it is only following the guidance issued by the WA Attorney General. For those who are interested in why the Attorney General Opinion is completely unprecedented in the US, and is being read way too broadly by the SoS, please see my posting under the immediately prior Blog Title “5 Questions about R-71: Suits and shifts” (also dated Friday, August 28).
    Basically, WA state has created a situation where fraud is invited — you have completely unknown and unidentified petition circulators (virtually unheard of in any other state) getting the names of allegedly registered voters who don’t even have to write down the date that they signed the petition (so as to see if they were registered to vote on that date).
    Does anyone really think that this is the day a transparent, democratic system should work? Not a single state in the US — other than WA state — would allow something like this to occur. Whether you are conservative or liberal or other, Republican or Democrat or other, pro-gay or anti-gay or neither, you truly cannot support this type of process. Remember, next time you and your issue could be the ‘victim’ of this process. Hopefully a Judge will see it the same way.

  4. Jay Jonson says:

    If R71 qualifies, it will do so only because the Secretary of State’s office has aided and abetted fraud.

  5. J Scooter–your projection is turning out to be accurate. Re the AGO, that question of interpretation is a central point o the litigation that is underway in King County. The courts and/or the Legislature or the public via another initiative, can change that policy if they wish. our view, as i’ve written many times, is to facilitate the use of a constitutional right.

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