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August 04, 2009

Referendum 71 signature validation update: Day 3 & 4

Posted in: Uncategorized

What could there be to report only 3 days into what will be a 2 to 4 week process?  A hopeful trend but BIG NOTICE: a hopeful trend does not get you off the hook of preparing for the ballot!  Let this just be a puff of fresh air in your ballot preparation sails.  Promise?  Good!  now you may proceed. :)

A review of the basics:

  • If the referendum qualifies, Washington state voters supporting the new domestic partnership law will need to vote APPROVED on the November ballot.
  • 137,689 raw signatures were submitted.
  • 120,577 validated signatures are needed to qualify the referendum for the ballot.
  • The break point comes when either 17,113 signatures are invalidated or 120,577 signatures are validated.

    Here is a summary of the daily tallies:

    Date Checked Accepted Invalid Duplicates No Match Not Found Missing % Invalid
    31-Jul 5,646 4,991 655 7 41 592 15 11.34
    3-Aug 5,856 5,096 760 16 40 682 22 12.98
    4-Aug 5,815 4,980 835 22 69 732 12 14.36
    5-Aug 6,140 5,268 872 23 71 758 20 14.20
    Totals: 23,457 20,335 3,122 68 221 2,764 69
    Average: 13.31

    Duplicates, No Match, Not Found and Missing are subcategories of Invalid, and are defined as: No Match – no match of petition signature with what’s on file; Not Found – not found on voter registration database; Missing – listed on the database as registered voters but missing a signature on the database.  The Secretary of State checks back with the counties for signature cards on file for Missing signatures, so some Missing may eventually get shifted back from Invalid to Accepted.

    UPDATE: The Secretary of State has created a special Referendum 71 webpage. Starting Wednesday, August 5th, you can find the daily results from the validation process there.

    UPDATE 2: David Ammons reports that the Elections Division will be “adding a second shift starting Thursday and hope to wrap up by week after next.”  I’ll be updating the numbers as they come in this evening (Wed).

    UPDATE 3:  ”Shane Hamlin…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.  [T]he 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…starting mid-day Thursday.”There’s been quite a bit of blogging the past few days about just which number best represents the cushion provided by the 17,112 extra raw signatures that were submitted.  Because 17,112 is 14.19% above the target of 120,577 valid signatures, 14% is the figure against which daily invalidation rates are frequently measured.  However, as Goldy explains, “the actual maximum invalidation rate beyond which the measure fails to qualify for the ballot, the signature cushion divided by the number of signatures submitted, is 12.43% (17,112/137,689).”.  So 12.43% is the golden number against which the daily or cumulative invalid rate should be compared.  Consider that the invalid rate after the first three days of sampling was 13%, and that cushion of 12.4% isn’t looking so cushy at the moment.

    Here is the humble barometer I’m using.  NUmbers valid on 8/4/2009 8/5/2009 only.

    Approved Invalid
    Break point 120,577 17,113
    Category total 20,335 3,122
    % towards break point 16.86 18.24

    Of course WE ARE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.  There may still be batches of squeaky clean signatures yet awaiting the validation process.  Or enough Missing signatures may be “found” and moved into the Accepted category.  On the other hand, we should expect to see the frequency of duplicates increase as we expand the known signature universe.  So the jury is still out.  All I know is that we definitely cannot let ourselves get lazy and lulled by wishful thinking and some early favorable results, but it is nice to chew over something hopeful as we keep to the grindstone to prepare to win at the ballot.



    * Random Numbers

    * The Skinny on DP Dissolution Rates in Washington State

    Referendum 71 voters will be asked to approve or reject the domestic partnership law.


    Ballot Title

    Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute Senate Bill 5688 concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].

    Concise Description: This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations accorded state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners to be equivalent to those of married spouses, except that a domestic partnership is not a marriage.

    Should this bill be:

    Approved ___

    Rejected ___

    Ballot Measure Summary

    Same-sex couples, or any couple that includes one person age sixty-two or older, may register as a domestic partnership with the state. Registered domestic partnerships are not marriages, and marriage is prohibited except between one man and one woman. This bill would expand the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of registered domestic partners and their families to include all rights, responsibilities, and obligations granted by or imposed by state law on married couples and their families.



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