Secretary of State Shantel Krebs has certified the first of eight initiative petitions submitted at the beginning of November. Yesterday Secretary Krebs said Jason Glodt’s petition for the so-called crime victims’ bill of rights (an unnecessary and unwise constitutional amendment branded as “Marsy’s Law”) has enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot. The Glodt amendment will appear as Amendment S (for superfluous!).
Secretary Krebs tells me that she calculated that 34,431 out of 53,687 signatures were valid. Glodt’s paid circulators thus produced an error rate of 35.87%. These petition “professionals” managed to foul more than one in three signatures.
For comparison, the almost all-South Dakota, significantly volunteer circulator corps that put the Incumbent Protection Plan and the youth minimum wage on the 2016 ballot as Referred Laws 19 and 20 had calculated error rates of 15.70% and 19.74%, respectively. The Referred Law 19 petition came in with just a 2.89% cushion above the minimum signature threshold, but the Referred Law 20 petition had a 23.92% cushion, almost equal to Glodt’s 24.12% cushion. And we got that cushion without lying to anyone, running away from the press, or using illegal tactics that tarnished the petition drive.
Gee, Jason, next time you’ve got money to spend on circulators, call me first. I can hook you up with circulators who will give you more value and less headache for the dollar.
If all of the other petition organizers had hired the same circulators as Glodt and obtained the same 35.87% error rate, five of the eight initiative petitions would have failed, with fewer valid signatures than the legal threshold: redistricting, 36% payday loan rate cap, non-partisan primary, fair share union dues, and medical marijuana. Only the fake 18% decoy petition and the Anti-Corruption Act could withstand that gross error rate with sheer bulk of extra signatures.
Glodt submitted this petition on November 3. The Secretary of State’s office issued its certification 31 work days later. If that rate held for the seven remaining initiative petitions with their over 222,000 signatures, we’d see the last petition (medical marijuana) certified or not 128 work days from now, around June 23, just before the June 27 deadline for referendum petitions.
However, Secretary Krebs assures us that the remaining petitions will go much faster. Team Krebs has already numbered all of the petition sheets and created the random sampling spreadsheet necessary to pick out the 5% of signature lines that they will validate. The Secretary remains hopeful that her team will process all petitions by the end of January.
The Glodt Amendment now faces a 30-day challenge period. Any citizens who think they can find 6,691 more invalid signatures than Secretary Krebs calculates has until January 20 to submit an itemized challenge to the Secretary’s office. After that, citizens have until ballot-printing time toward the end of August to challenge the Glodt petition or any other ballot measure petition in court.