14 ways to invalidate yourself

So the big story on Friday was how light-rail opponents, did, and then didn’t, have enough signatures to put the matter to a vote.

As Auditor Greg Kimsey was quoted in Saturday’s paper, the reason it took so many months to verify signatures was because 1) that was a busy season, including two elections and the redistricting effort; and 2) there’s a whole bunch of stuff you have to check on each name. (I’m paraphrasing, as Kimsey was more eloquent.)

There’s 14 ways a signature can be invalidated. Here’s the breakdown. Note: These numbers don’t include the controversial 94 signatures that led to the “oops” moment.


Kimsey’s office rejected an additional 94 signatures because the signature gatherer didn’t tally the number of signatures on each page. (A rule to prevent signatures being added later.) City Clerk Carrie Lewellen decided to accept the signatures, which led to City Attorney Ted Gathe ruling there were enough signatures to take the petition to the Vancouver City Council. But then Kimsey’s office clarified those 94 signatures had not been verified.

Turns out, several of the 94 signers had already signed the petition. So another 39 signatures were put in the dump pile.

The political action committee behind the effort, Stopping Light Rail Stops Bridge Tolls, (SLRSBT), paid $17,280 to collect these signatures.

In all, they submitted 13,859 signatures. And 8,419 were ruled invalid, while 5,440 were ruled valid, 32 short of what was required.

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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