Things aren’t looking so good for I-917, Tim Eyman’s YATDCT (Yet Another Car Thirty Dollar Car Tab) initiative. Chris McGann reports in today’s Seattle P-I:
This month, despite spending $336,000 on signature gathering for I-917 this year, Eyman filed just 266,008 signatures on the July 7 deadline, roughly 41,000 more than he needed to get the measure on the ballot.
That means his signature failure rate — those signatures that are either duplicates or that are not from legal registered voters — cannot exceed 15.4 percent. Eyman’s track record indicates he is unlikely to make the cut.
Of the 14 signature drives Eyman has put his weight behind, he hasn’t had a signature failure rate below 16 percent.
Washington Secretary of State Elections Director Nick Handy said the signature failure rate for Eyman’s initiatives has ranged from 16.7 percent to 23 percent.
Why are Eyman’s signature failure rates so high? Well, as McGann reports, paid signature drives have a rejection rate of between 18 and 24 percent, whereas volunteer drives average between 11 and 16 percent. As we all know, Tim has relied on paid signature gatherers almost exclusively in recent years.
Of course we may not learn YATDCT’s fate until September, and it’s certainly possible it could squeak by. But even if it does make the ballot things still don’t look all that good for its prospect of passing. The latest Elway Poll, conducted in June shows anemic support for I-917:
Definitely Yes: 24
Probably Yes: 19
Probably No: 23
Definitely No: 21
While that may look pretty close to the, um… uninitiated, it is nowhere near the type of numbers initiative sponsors hope to have this early in the season. Remember, last year at this time I-912 — which also slashed transportation spending — led by a sizable margin in the polls… but went on to lose by a landslide in November. And the same folks who banded together to defeat I-912 are busy raising money to oppose I-917.
Either way it looks like Eyman’s sugar daddy, Michael Dunmire may have thrown away a few hundred thousand dollars. Still, you can be sure that Timmy will manage to get his cut.
He always does.