WSR 97-13-094

PROPOSED RULES

SECRETARY OF STATE

[Filed June 18, 1997, 10:59 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-09-060.

Title of Rule: Verification of signatures on initiative and referendum petitions.

Purpose: To make the rule governing the verification of signatures on initiative and referendum petitions consistent with RCW 29.79.200.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 29.79.200 and 29.04.080.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 29.79.200.

Summary: Specifies the statistical procedures for verification of an initiative and referendum petition based on an unrestricted random sample of the signatures on the petition.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: To provide a mathematically reliable procedure to implement the statutory authority for the use of random sampling on petitions.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Donald F. Whiting, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington, (360) 902-4148; Implementation and Enforcement: David Elliott, 1007 Washington S.E., Olympia, WA, (360) 586-8425.

Name of Proponent: Office of the Secretary of State, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Specifies the statistical procedures for verification of an initiative and referendum petition based on an unrestricted random sample of the signatures on the petition.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Permits the use of random sampling in a broader range of situations, subject to all other preexisting requirements.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Rule applies to actions of the agency which do not affect the financial or economic affairs of any business.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Rule relates only to internal governmental operations and is not subject to violation by a nongovernmental party.

Hearing Location: Office of the Secretary of State, Second Floor, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington, on July 24, 1997, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Rebecca Sherrell by July 23, 1997, TDD (800) 422-8683, or (360) 902-4147.

Submit Written Comments to: P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220, FAX (360) 586-5629, by July 23, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 24, 1997.

June 18, 1997

Donald F. Whiting

Assistant Secretary of State

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 78-2, filed 7/17/78)

WAC 434-79-010 Random sampling procedure. In the verification of signatures on initiative and referendum petitions, ((pursuant to)) under RCW 29.79.200 ((and 29.79.220, when the number of signatures submitted is more than 110 percent of the number of signatures required by Article II, Section 1A of the Washington State Constitution)), the following statistical test may be employed:

(1) Take an unrestricted random sample of the signatures submitted;

(2) Check each signature sampled to determine the number of valid signatures in the sample, the number of signatures in the sample which are invalid because the individual signing is not registered or the signature is improper in form, and the number of signatures which are duplicated in the sample;

(3) Calculate an allowance for the chance error of sampling by multiplying the square root of the number of invalid signatures in the sample by 1.5;

(4) Estimate the upper limit of the number of signatures in the population which are invalid by dividing the sum of the invalid signatures in the sample and the allowance for the chance error of sampling by the sampling ratio, i.e. the number of signatures sampled divided by the number of signatures submitted;

(5) Determine the maximum allowable number of pairs of signatures in the population by subtracting the sum of ((110 percent of)) the number of signatures required by Article II, Section 1A of the Washington state constitution and the estimate of the upper limit of the number of invalid signatures in the population from the number of signatures submitted;

(6) Determine the expected number of pairs of signatures in the sample by multiplying the square of the sampling ratio by the maximum allowable number of pairs of signatures in the population;

(7) Determine the acceptable number of pairs of signatures in the sample by subtracting 1.65 times the square root of the expected number of pairs of signatures in the sample from the expected number of pairs of signatures in the sample;

(8) If the number of pairs of signatures in the sample is greater than the acceptable number of pairs of signatures in the sample, each signature shall be canvassed to determine the exact number of valid signatures;

(9) If the number of pairs of signatures in the sample is less than the acceptable number of pairs of signatures in the sample, the petition shall be deemed to contain sufficient signatures and the serial number and ballot title shall be certified to the state legislature as provided in RCW 29.79.200 or to the county auditors as provided in RCW 29.79.230.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 29.79.200. 78-08-032 (Order 78-2), 434-79-010, filed 7/17/78.]

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