Election crews have now posted the latest Referendum 71 signature-check results, adding over 15,000 checked signatures, pushing the total to over 48,000. The tally now includes 43,147 signatures accepted and 5,142 rejected, with a slightly higher rejection rate of 10.65 percent.
A number of bound volumes, with 15 petition sheets per batch, were completed by the master checkers and added to the running total. The signature rejections were mostly due to the person not being found on the statewide voter registration database — 4,491 people. Another 388 rejections were because the signature on the petition did not match the one on file and 242 to disallowed duplicates.
The duplicate number was up substantially over the previous day’s 130. The duplicates are expected to push up the error rate as more and more signatures are checked.
Another 21 signatures are temporarily set aside while awaiting an electronic signature from the person’s home county. Typically most of the latter category is eventually moved over to the “accepted” pile.
Elections Director Nick Handy continues to say the signature-check is too close to call. Sponsors, Protect Marriage Washington, seek a statewide vote in November on the new “everything but marriage” law that gives expanded rights and responsibilities to state-registered domestic partners. The measure is on hold while the referendum is pending.
It takes 120,577 valid Washington voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Sponsors brought in 137,689. That would allow a rejecton rate of no more than 12.4 percent.