The Secretary of State’s (SOS) office announced today that Lyin’ Eyman’s most recent $30 car tab initiative (or YATDCT—“Yet Another Thirty Dollar Car Tab” initiative) failed the random signature test.
In order to qualify for the ballot, 224,880 valid signatures from registered voters are needed. The SOS office recently documented that Eyman turned in only 266,006 signatures prior to validation.
The embarrassingly low number of signature prompted Eyman to launch into an attack on the SOS office, claiming that the office had lost signatures. Furthermore, Eyman claimed that the SOS office provided him with a receipt for 300,353 signatures on the very day that signatures were turned in. In the end, Eyman’s “evidence” amounted to little more than this scrap of paper.
The SOS office describes the “receipt incident” this way:
On July 7, 2006, the deadline for submitting signatures, the sponsors of I-917 returned and submitted additional petitions to the Elections Division.
After submitting the petitions at the Elections Division offices, Mr. Eyman immediately went to the Capitol Building to hold a press conference in the lobby of the Office of Secretary of State to announce the submission of petitions on I-917.
At that press conference, and while election workers were counting the pages on this initiative a few blocks away, Mr. Eyman presented to the receptionist at the front desk a piece of notebook paper with the number 300,353 handwritten on it and requested that the receptionist date stamp the notebook paper as received by the Office of Secretary of State.
The receptionist did date stamp the notebook paper but because the cameras did not capture that event, Mr. Eyman asked the receptionist to stamp the paper a second time so the cameras could capture the event.
Rather than submitting the document to the receptionist after the stamping process, Mr. Eyman took the document back and turned to the press to announce that the Office of Secretary of State had just verified receipt of 300,353
At the time of the press conference, the Elections Division was in the process of counting the pages on I-917 at the Elections Division. The Office of Secretary of State did not know at that time how many pages or signatures were being submitted that day.
Uh-huh. Who would have guessed…Eyman lying about that original receipt?
The low number of signatures means that, at most, 15.46% of the signatures can be invalid. The SOS office did an initial estimate of invalid signatures using the ‘”random sample” process authorized by state law:’
Election officials examined 10,819 ( or a 4% sample) on I-917. From that inspection, it was determined that the measure had an invalidation rate, including duplicates, of 17.96%.
State law requires that the OSOS now conduct a full check of every signature submitted for Initiative 917. The full check will begin immediately following the completion of the random check of Initiatives 920, 933, and 937.
How likely is it that the full check will result in enough signatures to qualify? Not very. If we can assume that signatures were truely selected at random, a standard statistical test puts the odds at well under 100,000 to 1 that the true signature error rate is less than 15.46%.
Better luck next year, Timmy.