Local petition qualifies for November inclusion

A Redwood City petition to include a measure to change open space use approval requirements to a super-majority has qualified for inclusion in the November ballot. As we mentioned in our post on June 5, this local petition began in response to the use of the Cargill salt ponds along the bay for commercial development.

The County’s role in this petition process was that of an assistant to Redwood City, aiding in the verification of petition signatures. In order for a petition to be deemed valid, the number of valid signatures on the petition must meet or exceed the required number as set by the Secretary of State. For this petition, the required number of valid signatures was just about 5,300.

The Daily Journal posted an article regarding this Open Space Initiative petition.  To read more about it, visit http://www.smdailyjournal.com/article_preview.php?id=93939.

Verifying petition signatures is similar to the process of verifying Vote by Mail and provisional ballot signatures.  An image of the signature is first digitally captured. Then, batches of signatures then pop up alongside their associated voter registration files. (Each voter registration file at the Elections Office contains a digital image of the signature made on a voter registration card.) Four sets of signatures at a time populate a screen, making it super-fast for election folk to compare signatures, make sure all the other required information – such as the signer’s address – is there, and click an ”Accept” or ”Reject” button.

However, for this petition, the County doesn’t play a role in the determination of the validity of the petition.  We only verified signatures and reported the results back to Redwood City.  Because this is a local petition, the City is responsible for determining the validity of the petition and filing the petition with the Secretary of State.

If you’d like to take a look at the full list of state petitions (qualified, disqualified, and circulating) and the issues that each address for the Nov. 4 Presidential General Election, visit the California Secretary of State website at http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_j.htm.

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