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State election crews begin initiative checks

by David Ammons | July 20th, 2011

It’s that season again.  State election crews are hard at work, hunched over computer screens and stacks of initiative petitions, checking signatures to make sure they are valid, registered Washington voters and that the signatures match the one on file.

The inspectors are checking signatures for three initiatives this year, and began Wednesday morning with the measure submitted by initiative activist Tim Eyman, I-1125, dealing with transportation tolls.  As with the other two initiatives, the I-1125 campaign turned in enough signatures to trigger a fast-track random sampling of 3 percent.  In Eyman’s case, that means about 10,000 of his 328,000 submitted will be scrutinized. A computer program picks the randomization.

It takes 241,153 valid signatures to earn a place on the statewide fall ballot.

The process will take two or three days to complete.  Next up will be the Costco-sponsored liquor privatization measure, I-1183. Sponsors were told today that the check will begin Friday or early next week.  The third measure, I-1163 brought in by SEIU, will then get its verification check.  I-1163 deals with home care-workers and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The process is conducted in open session, with observers allowed to attend.  The Elections Division is using Thurston County’s ballot processing center at 2905 29th Ave. SW, Suite E in Tumwater.

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