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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Petition Number Arrogation

King County Elections found a near 30% invalidation rate on one Seattle anti-tunnel petition, and about the same on another. These petitions are strictly City of Seattle issues, it is believed, so there would have been no district lines for the petitioners to be concerned with, only whether a signer was a voter and from Seattle; in other words, not too complicated.

To put it another way, this elections department has apparently decided to arrogate unto themselves, by suspicious subjective decisions, how many signatures are needed on petitions rather than going by the statutory authority for the actual number. It is believed that the Secretary of State's office ordinarily finds 18% - 22% invalidation rates on petitions, which is substantially lower than King County Elections on recent petitions. They may be trying to position themselves to say there's nothing unusual about 30%-plus error rates on petitions when the director petition comes around in early June. "Nothing unusual" ... except out of the confines of their office.

Regarding the latter of the anti-tunnel petitions that King County Elections checked, Initiative 101, their filter came up with its typical high invalidation rate, which at first overruled the petition, keeping it from going forward. However, they allowed this petition to get a signature number count, thereby allowing additional signatures to make up for the deficit; something that they didn't allow for the District 41 state representative petition last year. It's unfair for them to give favorable latitude to one kind of petition, but not another kind, unless there is some statutory requirement that mandates that they do so, but there is no such requirement (the Secretary of State's Office allows early number counts on election candidacy petitions). It appears to be partisan politics on their part. By the way, the Party of Commons supports the no tunnel position in the City of Seattle.

[Originally posted on "Commoner" on 4/11/11; revised on 4/21/11.]

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