Monday, September 15, 2008

Hooray for grass roots activists the American Chemical Council

Well it looks like the American Chemistry Council/Coalition to Stop the Seattle Bag Tax got enough signatures to get a question on the ballot for next August.

The 20-cent bag fee for paper and plastic bags in Seattle will not take effect on Jan. 1. A referendum campaign to hold a citywide election on the fee has collected enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot next year.

In response, the city has decided to delay implementing the law until the vote can take place. Well I agree with the delay, it would be a waste of time and money to start up a program to support the law when it will most likely be overturned 8 months later. Bully for the plasti-holics.


I found this bit interesting (bolding mine):

The King County elections division on Monday verified the anti-fee coalition had collected 15,099 valid signatures out of 22,292 submitted. A referendum required 14,374, or 8 percent of the ballots cast in the last mayoral election. According to election records, the coalition spent $180,625 collecting signatures.

I have no idea what the normal percentage of invalid signatures is, but 23% seems awfully high. In fact, they only made the number they needed by 725 signatures. That's a pretty close margin.

As a comparison a statistical sample of the signatures gathered by I-1000 had about 10% disqualified although that is admittedly for a statewide initiative which may affect the percentage of invalid signatures. I don't know if I have a point here, just musing.

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