Report #4 on the Six Californias Signature Verification Process

It’s a slow news day on the Six Californias signature verification front. (You can find my previous updates here, here, and here.) According to Tuesday’s report from the SoS, a total of eight signatures were collected in Alpine County, of which five were valid (no duplicates), for a validity rate of 62.5%. Also, Yolo County apparently found an additional 27 raw signatures during its sampling process, bringing the total raw count to 1,083,380.

We’re still waiting for the raw counts from Alameda, Amador, Inyo, and Trinity, but it may be they won’t report until they finish their random sample. (This surprises me, because EC 9030(b) says they’re supposed to report their raw totals to the SoS within eight days after receiving the petitions. But I guess there’s no penalty for being late.)

In addition to the aforementioned Alpine County, we now have sampling reports from Kings (76.2% valid), Napa (66.0%), Shasta (69.0%), and Yolo (57.2%) counties. The overall validity rate is 66.7%, up very slightly from yesterday’s 66.4%.

Given the slow news, let’s speculate as to how many signatures Six Californias might pick up from the remaining four counties. According to the Statement of Vote from the June election, there are 17,722,006 registered voters(*) in California. The missing counties account for 841,499 of them. 1,083,380 signatures from a pool of 16,880,507 registered voters is a collection rate of 6.4%. If that same rate holds for the missing counties, we can expect Mr. Draper to pick up another 54,000 signatures or so. With two-thirds of them valid, he’ll have about 758,000 good signatures, not enough to qualify or even force a full count.

(*) I use registered voters instead of eligible voters because my admittedly limited experience with signature gatherers is that they ask people if they’re registered to vote; I’ve never seen one register a non-registered but eligible voter.

But 6.4% is just an average collection rate. In some counties he does better, in some he does worse. For example, the collection rate in Alpine County was only 8/766 or 1.0%. But in Stanislaus County it was 23,302/211,330 or 11.0%. Siskiyou was even better: 2,999/24,833 or 12.1%. The best county, unless I’ve made a mistake, was Del Norte, with a collection rate of 2,377/12,398 or 18.8%.

Of the remaining counties, Alameda is the largest, with 803,728 registered voters. It would be reasonable to expect the collection rate in Alameda County to be similar to that in the surrounding counties of Contra Costa (4.7%), San Francisco (4.7%), San Mateo (1.1%), Santa Clara (4.8%), and San Joaquin (9.5%), but let’s be generous and say it’s 20% there and in the other remaining counties, for an additional 168,300 signatures. If the current validity rate of 66.7% continues to hold, then he’ll qualify with about 834,500 signatures (not enough to avoid a full count, however). But if he only collects signatures from 15% of those voters, he’ll only have about 806,400; enough to force a count of every one, but not enough to qualify.

–Steve Chessin

President, Californians for Electoral Reform (CfER)

The opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of CfER.