The numbers from last nights signature verification are in with 29940 signatures examined so far, a little over 21.74% of the 137,689 submitted signatures have been checked. There are now 4,057 invalid signatures, with 113 duplicates, which gives an overall invalid signature rate of 13.55%. Referendum 71 petitioners need their overall invalid signature rate to be at 12.428% or lower for the referendum to be on the ballot.
State Senator Ed Murray has been looking carefully at the numbers and sees reason to be hopeful. He also points out that the way some numbers were being reported were confusing and made it seem like petitioners might be on track for the ballot. He correctly points out that the current trend in invalid signatures shows petitioners failing in their bid to put the rights of loving couples and families to a vote this November.
In statistics, confidence levels or intervals tell us how sure we can be of a particular outcome. Now if elections workers had sampled completely randomly rather than working their way through the signatures methodically then confidence intervals would be accurate. If we apply them to the current data and ignore duplicates entirely it gives about a 1 in 200 chance that Referendum 71 will be on the ballot (a confidence level of between 99% and 99.9%). If the invalid signature rate of the last few days remains constant, then the odds of the referendum being on the ballot will decrease even further. As at 7:00am this morning, the numbers are:
Total Submitted: 137,689
Total Checked: 29,940
Total Invalid: 4,075
Total Duplicates: 113
Total Invalid %: %