Sep 5 2008
08:18 pm
By: Greg Mackay

We have a two part process to verify the petitions.
First, using the Petition Eligibility System developed by the County Information Technology Department, we look up each signer. We verify that the person is registered and has put down the address we have in our files. We also look to make sure that the other components required by law are there: printed name, date, and the complete wording of the amendment(s) on the page.
We call this Stage 1.
In Stage 1 we have processed 25,010 names on the White petitions.
19,268 are valid.
The rejection rate is 22.95%.
We have completed Stage 1 for 52.55% of the number needed to put the white petition on the ballot.
In Stage 2 we check the signature on the petition against the signature on the voter registration card. If the worker thinks they are not the same signature we make a copy of each signature and put them in the "Disputed Signature" file.
This is a very slow process.
I do not have any exact numbers for Stage 2 but after two and a half full days there are less than a dozen names in the Disputed file.

Greg Mackay

Lisa Starbuck's picture

Total Needed?

Greg, what is the total number needed to place the petitions on the ballot? I have seen guesstimates that are all over the place.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

36K +

Lisa, Greg has told us previously that this "15% of registered voters" benchmark amounts to over 36,000 signatures, but less than 37,000.

I'm surprised (and a little concerned), though, at that seemingly high 22.95% sig rejection rate on the white petition. I had expected that maybe 10 or 15% of sigs would have to be tossed?

Greg, can you tell us whether your office has found any evidence of signers purposefully offering fictitious names? If so, what recourse, if any, might KCP organizers have against signers of this sort?

(I also saw a couple of people on the KNS site suggest that the benchmark was "15% of voters voting in the last gubernatorial election," but they were mistaken. It takes a lot of energy to correct all the mistaken info over there, and I didn't want to get started trying...)

Alan Summers's picture

ficticious names

Wouldn't it make sense that if a ficticious name was put on the petition, so would a ficticious address? How do you think the the election commission could possibly do anything to those people, ficticious people that is.
I was never at any of the locations where they were gathering signatures, lucky I guess. But, I would have just not signed the petitions, that would be a lot easier than signing a ficticious name.

Rachel's picture

Greg, Thanks for sharing


Thanks for sharing this info with us. It's helpful to understand the process.

I also appreciate all the work your office is doing. I'm sorry Commission made it necessary.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

I also appreciate all the

I also appreciate all the work your office is doing. I'm sorry Commission made it necessary.

Oh, Gawd yes. Thank you.

GDrinnen2's picture

Answer to Lisa

The number required is based on the number of registered voters as of the time the petitions were turned in to the Election Commission. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I believe it is approximately 36,670 (give or take 20). We had been saying 40k since Jan, since we had no way of knowing how many people would register during the alloted time frame.

Tamara, this may be boring info but to ease your concerns. . . .

I worked to create a system to check the signatures in-house. We were not able to check every signature but we checked a large sampling. Based on the weighted averages, we were anticipating somewhere around a 19-22% reject rate.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

    Wire Reports

    Lost Medicaid Funding

    To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

    Search and Archives