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Thursday, August 6, 2009

R-71 Errors Keep Rising

Posted by on Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM


Election workers counted the highest percentage of invalid petition signatures for anti-gay Referendum 71 today. "It is almost 15 percent today and that drives the cumulative error rate over 13.5 percent," says secretary of state's office spokesman David Ammons. "The maximum error rate that they can withstand is 12.43 percent, so they are currently exceeding that."

Referendum backers need 120,577 valid signatures to secure a spot on the general election ballot; they turned in 137,689 signatures on July 25.

The most recent numbers were posted this evening on a new web page designated solely for reporting Referendum 71 updates. In addition to charts like the one above, the secretary of state's office will also be posting charts of invalidated signatures, explaining why certain signatures are tossed out. The vast majority are disqualified because the names don't appear on state voter rolls.

For the first time since officials started reviewing petition sheets last Friday, they have brought on a second shift of election crews. They will work until 10:00 p.m. each day and post the results of the second shift's counts the following morning, Ammons says. The two shifts will work though next week, updating their figures twice daily until the petition is qualified—or, as is looking more likely—disqualified.


Comments (86) RSS

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Reality Check 1
Why are you all afraid of a vote on the issue? Are you afraid of democracy? Afraid of the majority opinion ? If any issue has merit the citizens will vote to uphold the law or issue right?

Am I missing something in this hypocrisy?

Is democracy cool only if it doesn't get in the way of what you want?

Following the signature like this day after day, may spell an initiative going down from appearing on the ballot, but what does it say about the number of folks it did reach? that 85+ % that actually did sign had a strong interest to see this on the ballot. Nothing more, nothing less.

The fact that you are afraid of citizens exercising their right to vote is damn scary. It says alot about the collective group in fact.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Buried lead: Productivity dropped by more than 30%. What gives?
Posted by geekgirl on August 6, 2009 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Dear Reality Check;

Actually, yes. I am scared of _your_ voting on _my_ rights, my daughter's rights, her friend's rights, etc. That's why we have a constitution, set up to protect those rights from votes of the people. Just because the WA supreme court fucked it up by the numbers doesn't mean they aren't real rights that shouldn't be voted on.

Shall we vote on your right to get married next? How about your right to live according to your religion? Are you scared now?


Posted by spudbeach on August 6, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 4
@ 2) They're working in two shifts starting today, so the number of signatures being counted per day is increasing. However, as the post explains, results for the second shift won't be posted until the following morning.
Posted by Dominic Holden on August 6, 2009 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Baconcat 5
@1: The reality is that you don't understand the purposes for this process and how it started and why this referendum runs contrary to the intent of the R&I system.

Which shouldn't be surprising to any regular slogger.
Posted by Baconcat on August 6, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Reality Check 6
@3 what right? What Constitutionally protected right do I currently have that you are fighting in this issue? The right to get married? Is that Constitutionally protected for others? really?

My rights get voted on all the time in other issues. How about I trade you... you don't get to vote on my right to guns anytime anywhere, and you can go marry anyone you want? I personally don't care who can marry who... I have no dog in that fight. But there is nothing in the Constitution about marriage. Marriage existed during the times of the Constitutional Convention in the late 1700's. The framers of the Constitution had every opportunity to put language into the document. They did not. Consider that for a moment. Why? Why not?

But I think it is selective cherry picking of one hot button issue to not be in favor of letting the majority vote on an issue.

Flame me if you wish, but that does not change the fact of the matter.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:03 PM · Report this
@1: Even in a democracy (especially in a democracy) there are procedures for turning proposals into laws. Those procedures are neutral and consistently applied.

If an idea can't mobilize enough support to meet the procedural requirements (which don't seem stringent to me), then it simply won't become law. You can believe in democracy without believing that we should have a vote on every damn thing. If you want a vote, find 120,576 people who agree with you, and then we'll mobilize the state's resources to determine the popular will. If you fail to do that, then no one will take you seriously when you whine about democracy.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:06 PM · Report this
Reality Check 8
@5 So because it doesn't follow the rules of the R&I system, we should throw it out on technicalities... and as long as throwing it out on a technicality solves the ulterior motive against the agenda, you will rest your laurels on that fact.

Nevermind the underlying issue(s) of the citizens voting on an issue obviously has a large undercurrent of interest and passion on all sides. Let's not settle the issue with a vote. Democracy is only cool if it fits your political agenda goals.

Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:07 PM · Report this
Incidentally, originally the error rate needed to stay below 12.43%. After several days at a higher rate, the referendum now has some catching up to do, and the error rate on the remaining signatures must be below 12.15%.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:12 PM · Report this
Reality Check 10
right @7

Because we all know that it takes 100,000 + signatures on a petition to be worthy of a vote right? Sure the procedures are neutral and consistently applied. But who chose that number? If 85,000 people sign a petition that seems to me to show a lot of agreement and intent. That is STILL a LOT of signatures in a non presidential election cycle.

Like I said before, as long as the result (relying on a referendum drive to fall short of signatures) may cause an issue to fail, and therefore fit your political agenda, it does NOT mean the issue isn't worthy of being placed on a ballot.

I personally believe that the signature requirement is far too high, and no citizen can possibly hope of having a true voice in this Democracy without deep pockets. Unless you have the $$$ to pay to play, the average citizen will never be able to exercise their "rights" to referendum.

I understand the logic into getting a certain number of signatures to prove an idea has true merit, but I also believe that the current limits are too high. There should be no reason why we don't have 5-9 measures on every ballot for each election cycle. IF the current laws cause most initiative drives to fail due to falling a few thousand signatures short, that seems to me to be a travesty of Democracy.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:15 PM · Report this
@8: Your argument is that an issue with "a large undercurrent of interest and passion on all sides" deserves a popular vote. Taking that as true, then what is the problem with requiring a certain number of signatures? That seems like a fairly reasonable way to gauge just how much interest and passion there is. If the effort to launch a referendum fails, it will be precisely because its proponents failed to demonstrate the minimum interest and passion.

If you don't like the current procedure - if you think it's a technicality - then how do you suggest we allocate limited electoral resources?
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:19 PM · Report this
Don't you kind of love it that the preliminary forecasts for the signature check really got the hopes up for the bigots who back this thing, and now they're going to be disappointed even a little more?
Posted by jw36 on August 6, 2009 at 6:21 PM · Report this
Loveschild 13
They're working two shifts so that they can eliminate as much signatures as they can without making it seem as tho they had something to do with it, I swear, they're shielding themselves from their sabotage brilliantly.

The truth does come out in the end tho, and once the people become aware of how they've been deprived of their right to cast their vote, they will have to respond for what they have done.

Posted by Loveschild on August 6, 2009 at 6:21 PM · Report this

Democracy is anathema to SLOG...not enough art critics and lovers of fey cyber comic novels per 1000 for them.
Posted by Mos Def on August 6, 2009 at 6:23 PM · Report this
RainMan 15
@1: If the registered voters in Mississippi had held a referendum on racial segregation in 1957 I think I can imagine how it would have turned out. That doesn't mean they would have been right. Sometimes the principle of majority rule has to be overridden to prevent tyranny by the ignorant mob.

I don't think R-71 will pass even if it does make it to the ballot this November, but certain things shouldn't be put up for a popular vote. Accuse me of cherry picking all you want but if you can't see the difference between protecting a group of people from discrimination vs, say, a routine tax levy then you have an extremely rigid and inflexible thinking process.
Posted by RainMan on August 6, 2009 at 6:27 PM · Report this
Reality Check 16
@11 Because who is to say that simply gathering "X" number of signatures is an effective identifier of level of interest or passion. You simply can NOT tell me that this issue has raised a TON of passion on all sides in the past year(s).

It is indeed a reasonable way in general to determine if a measure has merit or not. But I maintain that (for example) if this measure does get 85,000+ signatures in a non Presidential cycle, that that is FAR more than enough signatures IMNSHO. Maybe the number of signatures required should be 1% of total voters who voted in the last similar election.

Considering that FAR less folks vote in these off year elections, the requirements for total number of signatures should also be far less.

It would seem that this signature count itself has become political, with folks falsely calling in to report requesting their name to be removed that they "had been tricked", when in all likelihood they are trying to throw doubt on the official count. They have no real interest in seeing this put to a vote. It doesn't fit their agenda.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:29 PM · Report this
Ah, so we get the answer that it's fine to impose a signature requirement, it is just that the current law requires far too many signatures. I note that Washington has over 6.5 million people and over 3.4 million voters. The number 120,577 was derived by taking 4% of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

So yeah, at some point it's just a matter of opinion whether the requirement is too stringent or not. But that's the law, and at least from my perspective, it seems eminently reasonable. It's hard for me to imagine that, if an issue were truly important, you couldn't get 120,577 people to sign a petition to put it on the ballot.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 18
There's a good gawdman reason why hate-crazed AmeriKKKans shouldn't be allowed to vote on people's rights, especially GLBT rights in our nation's failed democratic experiment.

The “AmeriKKKan People,” if they even think about us and our issues at all, go to bed every night feverishly praying that Jeebus de Cristo and his BFF George "Caligutard" Bush order the US military to carry out our total extermination.

Nothing gives these abstinent, anti-sex, anti-sanity deviants near erotic pleasure more than sadistically harming some group they think is somehow below their own trashy stature in life. Yelling “BASURA,” then immediately spitting on the ground is the only appropriate way to address this seemingly endless tidal wave of repulsive human refuse.
Posted by Original Andrew on August 6, 2009 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Baconcat 19
Reality Check, so you're saying a majority of the people shouldn't be able to dismiss the rights of a sizable minority?

Posted by Baconcat on August 6, 2009 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Loveschild 20
14 If their treachery against the people was only relegated to this blog there wouldn't be any problem but they have friends in these offices of government many of them homosexuals themselves who are hell bent on silencing the people. You know, until the people realize what they're doing they'll keep on committing these illegal acts with impunity.
Posted by Loveschild on August 6, 2009 at 6:32 PM · Report this
@15 - if it makes it to the ballot I hope it passes.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 22
@ 16,

Asking submorons to vote on things they don't or can't understand sure the hell explains a lot about our nation's headlong tailspin into calamitous collapse.
Posted by Original Andrew on August 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Reality Check 23
@19 I am indeed. Now you are catching on. I said I had no dog in this fight. I only wish to see it put to a vote so that everyone will shut the fuck up about it one way or another.

So therefore, why not allow it to be put to a vote?

Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:39 PM · Report this
Reality Check 24
@22 It does indeed. No disagreement from me.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 6:40 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 25
@ 23,

See # 18.
Posted by Original Andrew on August 6, 2009 at 6:41 PM · Report this
@16: There is no way to demonstrate what is the right number of signatures. Line-drawing is inherently difficult.

There will always be some arbitrariness, in that there isn't a magical number above which democracy requires a vote and below which it doesn't.

The closest thing to a magical number is one that is selected beforehand and applied neutrally and consistently. 4% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election is well within the range of reasonableness. And to change the requirement at this point would be to destroy its neutrality. You can't just change the requirements when it suits you.

But if you feel strongly that democracy is being thwarted, then it's not R-71 you have a problem with, it's the state's procedures governing referenda. I invite you to lobby your representative on behalf of democracy in Washington. Until you succeed, though, Slog commenters aren't anti-democratic, they're pro-rule of law.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:45 PM · Report this
pissy mcslogbot 27
@ 20: "they have friends in these offices of government many of them homosexuals themselves who are hell bent on silencing the people."

those gays are almost as crafty as the commies in the 50's, OMG they work and have jobs?? In the GOVT no less, what the hell is this country becoming? Lets have a good ol' fashioned Senate hearing, those always make things better.
Posted by pissy mcslogbot on August 6, 2009 at 6:49 PM · Report this
I love the argument: why shouldn't the rights of people be put to majority vote. Hey, Hitler got elected democratically so I guess the Jews should have stopped complaining and entered the gas chambers democratically. If a ballot proposition were put on the ballot saying that Bapitsts, and only Baptists, should be denied equal rights in some specific area, I can assure you that conservatives would scream bloody murder about it. Then they wouldn't want minority rights subjected to majority prejudices.

"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816.
Posted by esteem on August 6, 2009 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Lurleen 29
15%. Gary Randall will be asking his buddy Vitter for a diaper right about now.
Posted by Lurleen on August 6, 2009 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Loveschild 30
Reality Check 1 23 They're always afraid of the people (votes) cause they know that they're unable to persuade the population to be in favor of their agenda. That's why they don't want them to vote. It's that simple.

Every state that has made gay marriage or something similar to it into law has done so through the courts.

They're afraid of the people and like all good tyrants they need to make sure the people (who they consider "submorons") don't have a voice.

If there's anything good coming out of this disgraceful display of abuse of power is that they are showing themselves for whom they truly are. The contempt they have for our democratic process is evident now.

They may well end up denying the people the right to vote on this matter but they won't be able to say (nor in any other state) that the people are with them on this (as they love to say when confronted). This as all others will go down in the annals of history as one more imposition and people will equate their agenda with that word. The only thing that makes this one different is how far they have gone and violated the law.
Posted by Loveschild on August 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM · Report this
So let's test the theory that signatures rejected as duplicates will rise over time. Here are the percentages of signatures rejected as duplicates:

7/31: .12%
8/3: .27%
8/4: .38%
8/5: .37%
8/6: .57%

I would say that there is a clear trend here, although it's a small sample size. The other thing to remember is that the error rate is currently 13.54% overall, and is also trending upward. So duplicates make up a relatively small fraction of overall invalid signatures (although obviously that might change).
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM · Report this
Baconcat 32
@20: You do know the secretary of state is a social conservative, right? And that his only paramount rule is absolute adherence to the rules? And that it gets him in trouble with both major parties because he doesn't pick sides in arguments that pass through his office?

Oh, of course you don't, you're taken by some random wacky conspiracy.

@23: I only see stall tactics and petty oneupmanship, so I think voting on something only to unvote in the face of a progressive shift in attitudes is a waste of time and taxes. If it suddenly flips and the acceptance of DPs slides from its current 73% to under 50%, then we'll talk.
Posted by Baconcat on August 6, 2009 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Okay everyone, I see a somewhat big issue with the way this is being reported. See footnotes 2 and 3 on this page. Signatures that are "pending county confirmation" are counted as rejected for the purpose of the summary table everyone has been using. But as the website says, "From experience, we know that many of the signatures in this category are usually accepted."

The number is not huge - 84 signatures are in the "pending" category right now. The error rate if these are all found to be valid is 13.23%, still high enough to doom the effort. But let's not get too confident based on the headline number, which I regard as misleading because of its inclusion of the "pending" signatures.

Dominic, if you're reading this far, please take note of this.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 7:01 PM · Report this
Baconcat 34

Every state that has made gay marriage or something similar to it into law has done so through the courts.

New Hampshire and Vermont used the legislature.
Posted by Baconcat on August 6, 2009 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Lurleen 35
@34 so did Maine, although like our new DP law their new marriage equality law is facing a referendum.
Posted by Lurleen on August 6, 2009 at 7:15 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 36
"The truth does come out in the end tho"

Just like so many disgraced conservative politicians in sex scandals, the sort that promote "family values".
Posted by undead ayn rand on August 6, 2009 at 7:24 PM · Report this

The proper way to analyze the duplicate signature errors is to divide the number of errors on a particular day by the CUMULATIVE number of VALID signatures authenticated to that point.

I'm no Nate Silver, but by my estimation, we're on track for at least 1,600 duplicate signatures -- which by itself is more that 1% of total signatures.
Posted by oneway on August 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM · Report this
god you people need to get a life
Posted by math 101 on August 6, 2009 at 7:32 PM · Report this
@32 This. I'll vote for Sam Reed as long as he runs for Secretary of State; he's an honest man.
Posted by efnord on August 6, 2009 at 7:35 PM · Report this
@37 please explain your logic. Why is that the correct way to analyze duplicate signatures?
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 7:37 PM · Report this

Posted by cubby on August 6, 2009 at 7:43 PM · Report this
So taking oneway's approach (see @37), here are the duplications:

7/31: .14% (7 duplicates out of 4,991 valid signatures)
8/3: .15%
8/4: .15%
8/5: .11%
8/6: .09%

The problem is, I don't know what these numbers mean. Because the denominator is cumulative number of valid signatures, the percentage is dependent on how many signatures were checked on a particular day. That last percentage is lower than the others because they only checked 3,831 signatures on August 6. It does not indicate a declining error rate for duplicates.
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 7:46 PM · Report this
How many white settlers in the 19th century would have "voted" to allow American Indians to keep all Indian lands? Don't make me laugh.

In fact, they weren't even called Indians, they were called savages, it sounds worse. You're not taking land from people, you're taking it from those savages.

That's why some so-called Christian evangelicals prefer "homosexual" to the word gay. Same idea.

Posted by Dave999 on August 6, 2009 at 7:55 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 44
loveschild is a fake fake fake fake fake. not a black woman, but a fat-assed, doughy-faced white man in his mom's basement with the social skills of a rock crab. you're not foolin' me, 'child! you are NO SISTAH!!

remember folks, read her posts with the voice of zelda rubenstein from 'poltergeist'. i do.
Posted by scary tyler moore on August 6, 2009 at 8:37 PM · Report this
I want to see LC's Hump entry.
Posted by Patti on August 6, 2009 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Wow, talk about thwarting the will of the people. So far, over 3500 people have illegally "voted" by signing more than once or lying about their voter status. Any calls from the fringe about prosecuting these "voter Irregularities"? Didn't think so...
Posted by donarb on August 6, 2009 at 8:50 PM · Report this
@42 Gotta run, but here's something brief to consider... Think of it in small terms. Let's say there's only 1000 total signatures.

Assume Sig #1 is valid.

When you check Sig #2, you're comparing it only to Sig #1. When you check Sig #3, you're comparing it only to Sig #1 & #2.

When you check Sig #1000, you're checking it against 999 other signatures.

The probability that the signature of Sig #1000 is a duplicate is therefore 999x greater than the probability Sig #2 was a duplicate.

I'll try to whip up the Nate Silver-wannabe math later tonight and post it in this comment thread.
Posted by oneway on August 6, 2009 at 8:53 PM · Report this
Just a few thoughts. Imagine that you have 1,000 signatures, and approximately 100 of them are duplicates. However, the duplicates are all one guy - Duplicate D. Duplicate (his dad told his mom he had named him Caleb in accordance with her wishes) signed the referendum 100 times. Duplicate D. Duplicate is a registered voter and eligible signatory, so only one of his signatures will count.

In that instance, obviously the first signature will not be rejected as a duplicate. From then on, approximately 10% of signatures will be rejected, and this number should hold steady throughout.

Now imagine a different scenario. 1,000 signatures, 100 of them duplicates. This time, basically 100 people each signed twice. Now, the percentage of duplicates should ramp up over time, because for a while you will mostly be finding the first, but not the second, signature of the double-signers.

I think oneway is implicitly assuming that this latter example is closer to reality than the former. And I basically agree, but one would want to think about how the math would change along a continuum between example 1 and example 2.

Anyway, this math is fun, I will try to come up with something that makes sense of it. In the meantime, I think my initial, crude approach is somewhat helpful, even if it doesn't tell us exactly what we want to know (predicted total number of duplicates).
Posted by minderbender on August 6, 2009 at 9:07 PM · Report this
Loveschild@13 and numerous other posts:

"They're working two shifts so that they can eliminate as much signatures as they can. . ."

Your "much" should be "many".

Maybe when you can assemble a grammatically coherent sentence or - gasp! - a whole paragraph (obvious typos excluded) will I even begin to entertain the possiblilty that you are a truly sentient being and not an ignorant uneducated piece of shit.

Go out and take some Adult Ed classes - there must be one or two out there to teach you how to write coherently and above your undereducated 6th grade level.

When we can figure out exactly what you're saying - beyond your usual garbled batshitcrazy religio-asshattery filtered through some unknown and unknowable dialect - then we might actually have dialogue/conversation. The kind of debate that grown-ups engage in.

Ad hominem attack? Sure. Mainly because I can't figure out what the fuck you're saying half the time, but I know it ain't nice.
Posted by Jared Bascomb on August 6, 2009 at 9:18 PM · Report this
Lola, Missing Iowa City 50
Dumbass Reality Check, you don't put civil rights to a vote, motherfucker.
Posted by Lola, Missing Iowa City on August 6, 2009 at 9:25 PM · Report this
Simac 51
The reason why civil rights shouldn't be (and generally aren't!!) subject to votes is to protect minorities from the "tyranny of the majority." (…)

This concept is a cornerstone of American democracy--although it goes back to Platonic thought, it was forefront in de Tocqueville's writings on America and the Federalist Papers. John Stuart Mill wrote extensively on it (…).

Anyone who values and *understands* the Constitution and the principles it enshrines must necessarily agree with that concept or in fact be un-American. Without this concept underlying American democracy, our elections and political life would be no different from Iran's today.

I have my doubts that Reality Check knows (a) who John Stuart Mill is, (b) what the Federalist Papers were, or (c) how the federal Constitution is designed to work to protect rights from the rule of the mob. Indeed, Reality Check seems to confuse rule of the mob with democracy itself.

It is ignorant, and also more than a little pathetic, to be so unversed in American democracy and American philosophy that he or she is actually arguing *against* the very principles that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the federal Constitution.
Posted by Simac on August 6, 2009 at 9:42 PM · Report this
@10 Given the amount of vigor behind this petition, and the number of signature gatherers, and the number of rabid anti-gay churches pushing this petition, the fact that it barely got enough possible signatures at the last minute and isn't likely to get the sufficient number of valid signatures, which is only one-tenth of the people in Washington that voted last November, which is about two-thirds of the number of people registered to vote, the fact that they couldn't get that modest number of signatures with all the effort and noise they've expended, and the extent to which they lied to people about what they were signing shows that there IS no public demand to have this law reconsidered. The State of Washington has 6 million people, and the law only asks you to get the signatures of 2 percent of that. If there is an overwhelming public demand to have the law reconsidered, you should have no problem getting 2% of the state population to sign your petition -- even without baldfaced lying. So no, RC, the bar is not too high. Given the crap initiatives we've had over the past six years *cough*eyman*cough*, the bar is probably not high enough.
Posted by K on August 6, 2009 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Jared @49. Weird, but I feel compelled to defend Loveschild. Her posts are always perfectly easy to understand. Sure, "many", and not "much" is the more correct usage, but if you claim that writig "much" makes it hard for you to understand her, you're bullshitting. Loveschild fails on her ideas, not on her language. I'm all for trashing commenters grammatical mistakes if they put themselves forward as some super intellectual. But Loveschild isn't that kind of snob. A hypocrite and a bigot sure , but not a snob. As for Scary's accusation, I take no position. I imagine plenty of sloggers aren't exactly who they say they are.
Posted by Eric from Boulder on August 6, 2009 at 9:52 PM · Report this
Anyone who thinks that people should be allowed to vote on the rights of other people is sincerely delusional. I'm sorry, but some of the GREATEST (by far) political minds in American history were completely against that. If you understood the ideas of John Adams and his staunch opposition to the tyranny of the masses then you would understand why referendums on many social/cultural issues are so entirely against the foundation upon which this country was created.
Posted by logic and reasoning on August 6, 2009 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Reality Check 55

Hey Lola

Marriage is not an absolute civil right dumbass. As Americans, both heterosexuals and homosexuals have the same rights — the right to get an education, own a home, pursue a career, live where they want, worship as they choose and vote their convictions. As Americans, this is the way it should be.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Civil Rights as:

"The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination."

The only way to make Gay Marriage a Civil Rights issue is to argue that prohibiting it would infringe upon a gay couple's..

a) civil liberties (Fundamental individual rights, such as freedom of speech and religion)

b) due process (An established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual)

c) equal protection of the laws (The equal protection requirement of the Constitution protects against legislation that affects individuals differently without a rational basis for doing so)

d) freedom from discrimination (immunity from discrimination on the basis of race or gender or nationality or religion or age; guaranteed by federal laws of the United States.

Denying marriage to homosexuals doesn't infringe civil liberties.

It's clear that denying marriage to homosexuals does not infringe upon a homosexuals ability to justice under the law - unless a homosexual wants to make the case that marriage is a legal state that they don't have access to. But then marriage is defined as 'between a man and woman' so they actually are being denied nothing. They have to then change the definition to claim they are being denied due process.

Again, the marriage laws are for "a man and a woman" so the only way to claim being denied equal protection is to first change the definition of marriage.

The only way a homosexual can say they are being discriminated against with regards to marriage is to - again - make the case that the definition of marriage is NOT "between a man and a woman".

So there are no civil rights being violated.

Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 9:59 PM · Report this
And by the way Loveschild. Out of the 7 states/jurisdictions within the United States where same sex marriages are legal and recognized, 4 did so through legislatures, rather than the courts. Those with civil unions or domestic partnerships all did so through legislatures, though admittedly New Jersey did so under pressure from the court.

And please Loveschild, explain to me how this is at all tyrannical. Allowing people to form legal unions. I'm sure there must be some clause in the law that says that all heterosexual people have to work in forced labor camps, or is there nothing like that. Because if the law is just provisions for allowing homosexuals to form legal unions, then it has absolutely no affect on you and the fact that you are complaining about it makes you look selfish and mean. Yes, selfish and mean.
Posted by logic and reasoning on August 6, 2009 at 10:01 PM · Report this
Reality Check 57
@51 You can kiss my ass too Simac.

I understand much more than you might believe. I just interpret many things a bit differently.

This has nothing to do with the "ruling of the mob" and you damn well know the difference. Typical tactic... cute really.

pathetic actually.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 10:03 PM · Report this
Reality Check 58
@52 A very sound reasonable conclusion. I had considered that very fact when typing my original first reply. However I would contend that your assumption might be too simple in the sense that there is not an interest in putting the matter to a vote by a lot of people, MANY of whom never even saw a petition to sign! I for one, never saw a petition to sign ... did you? I've asked my friends who live in many different parts of King and Sno counties, and NONE of them saw a petition for this measure either!

However, every single one of them has a very keen interest in seeing the matter put up to a ballot vote.

Simply stating that the bar "seemed" low enough given all the furor, and then arriving at the conclusion that they couldn't even find enough signatures to get it onto the ballot, ..... well... there might be a LOT more valid reasons for that... including incompetent organization, not enough signature gatherers, faulty or shoddy gathering methods etc etc...

Many reasons might be to blame.

But everyone has an opinion on the issue. Seeing as how much coverage it has gotten across the country AND locally, noone has escaped all the drama associated with the effort.

Or so it seems to me.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 10:11 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 59
@38 - civil rights have a lot to do with life, actually.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on August 6, 2009 at 10:13 PM · Report this
@ 55

Explain to me how homosexuals can exert their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when they are not allowed to marry the person they love.

And yes, though "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are from the Declaration of Independence rather than the Constitution, they have been ruled as rights to be afforded to all citizens through legal precedent of the Supreme Court.

And your arguments which are based in the "definition of marriage" being between "one man and one woman" only hold weight in states where marriage is legally defined as such. This is obviously a cop out for not having and real reason for not allowing gay people to marry each other. Not allowing gays to marry disenfranchises and discriminates against gay couples.
Posted by duhh on August 6, 2009 at 10:18 PM · Report this
Reality Check 61
@56 for the record, I have absolutely no problem with legal unions. I'm against any do gooder trying to stick their nose into the private lives of consenting adults. I just draw a line against those who are trying to manipulate the "system" for their own purient self interests (either as an individual or collective group).

Hope this makes sense.
Posted by Reality Check on August 6, 2009 at 10:20 PM · Report this
kim in portland 62
61: Just a question, Reality Check, from an outsider. Is it the responsibility of the individual who want to sign a petition to find the petition? Or does the one who wishes to sign sit around and wait for it to come to them? Here in Oregon we heard on Christian radio stations where one could go and sign. A petition gather had an ad on Craig's List of where he could be found. According to Gary Randall, churches had them as well. There was even a last day meet at the capitol to sign. It's my $0.02, that if I, an Oregonian' knew where to find a petition, that any Washingtonian who desperately wanted to sign could find a petition as well. Heck their darn web site, listed locations where you could find a petition, the one time I looked. Perhaps, just perhaps, the interest isn't as high as some, like Gary Randall and company, would have everyone think. Especially since there is video evidence of the signature gatherers lying to gain signatures, and photographs of white board with lies written on them to gain signatures. Lastly, even the petition itself contained outright lies. And, they weren't highly successful. Just some food for thought.
Posted by kim in portland on August 6, 2009 at 11:34 PM · Report this
kim in portland 63

... wants to sign ...
Posted by kim in portland on August 6, 2009 at 11:35 PM · Report this
Dear "Reality Check": Blow me, you hypocrite. What are you bitching about? The people here are celebrating the democratic process at work. Here, let me interpret what's happened for you: Why, even though you went knocking on every door, lying, cheating, and otherwise misrepresenting yourselves to make your bigotry into a voting issue, you couldn't get the measly 120,000 signatures for your stupid small-minded little petition? Oh, I guess that means the people HAVE voted. By telling you to GET OFF MY LAWN!
Also, "there is nothing in the Constitution about marriage"... you're right. There's also nothing in the U.S. constitution about torture, rape, or the blue M&Ms. Great argument.
(Oh, and your argument that 120,000 signatures is a lot? The 2008 Census has the population of Washington State as 6,549,224. The amount of signatures they need for that ballot? Less than 2%. So take your "the current limits are too high" bullshit and suck it.)
PS. LOL @ Spudbeach @ 3. Couldn't agree more.
Posted by YTAH on August 6, 2009 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Actually, the legal argument why the 14th Amendment demands that marriage rights be extended to homosexuals is whole "rational basis" that you quote above. Miscegenation laws during Jim Crow prohibited marriage between blacks and whites (or you could say "defined" marriage as being white on white or black on black.) So yes, when anti-miscegenation laws were struck down in the US after the Supreme Court decided Loving v. Virginia, it "redefined" legislative marriage. And that was good and dandy, because there was indeed no rational basis for preventing marriage between black and white, just as there is now no rational basis to deny homosexuals marriage.

"Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law." --Loving v. Virginia
Posted by Another Andrew on August 7, 2009 at 12:02 AM · Report this
And I have to add, that Loving v. Virginia is the name of the case that nullified ed anti-miscegenation laws is fucking awesome.
Posted by Another Andrew on August 7, 2009 at 12:05 AM · Report this
D'oh. I see I repeated K's comments at 52. (Sorry 'bout that.)
Er... I am assuming for RC's argument at 50 that "equal protection of the laws" doesn't extend to, say, being allowed to sit at your partner's bedside after an accident or long illness because you're not considered their "family" under the law. So what if marriage isn't "an absolute civil right". It forms the legal basis for determining whether people have a valid claim to enjoy & exert many of the civil rights that straight married couples take for granted. (See also the excellent points at 60 and 65.)
Your moniker is as leotarded (and self-delusional) as your argument, RC.
Oh, and WAY TO GO with the non-response to Simac's excellent points at 51. Gosh, your ability to say nothing repeatedly astounds me.
Posted by YTAH on August 7, 2009 at 12:20 AM · Report this
@48 your initial post pointing out the in reasing daily percentage of duplicates highlights the phenomenon. My approach likely assumes an artificial degree of randomness in the processing of the signatures. (I'd be interested to see similar data from other referenda indicating the ramp up of duplicate signatures.) in the meantime I'll stick to my estimate of about 1600 duplicates. We'll see soon enough.
Posted by Oneway on August 7, 2009 at 1:25 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 69
Gay rights, and specifically gay marriage should no more be put to a vote than interracial, or interfaith marriages. Such laws banning gay marriage and rights are the equivalent of the post Civil War "Black Codes", and the later Jim Crow laws. The 14th amendment says the majority cannot vote to make a minority lesser citizens.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on August 7, 2009 at 5:54 AM · Report this
I don't like that the gay movement is constantly pointing toward the constitutional protections of the minority. Those protections were formulated by the wealthy to protect their wealth. There's a reason the constitution was written and signed 12 years after independence. SHAY's REBELLION. Lets do the long hard work of building a popular movement of people for gay liberation and social justice generally. Rather than relying on republicanism that enshrines property and wealth. Lets build the consensus for gay freedom, rather than win legalistic gay "rights".

Posted by philluminate on August 7, 2009 at 6:11 AM · Report this
so pool
Posted by viviennewestwood on August 7, 2009 at 7:52 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 72
@ 70, nonetheless, the Constitution and Bill of Rights has been used by every subsequent group as justification for why they should enjoy those rights. First the unpropertied males, then the former slaves (who would soon be systematically denied their rights), then women, then minorities. Each group cited all the famous documents of the Revolutionary era as reason why they, too, should be equal before the law.

I think it's a proven winning strategy, mainly because it's right.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 7, 2009 at 7:54 AM · Report this
The referendum 71 error rate of 13 - 14% is far worse than ACORN's voter registration error rate of 1-3%. However, it is not nearly as bad as the California Republican Party error rate for voter registration in 2006, when their contractors had local error rates of 60 percent in San Bernadino County.
Posted by rubus on August 7, 2009 at 8:39 AM · Report this
It's really odd to me that the error rate is going up. It suggests either that the early counting was poorly reviewed, or the new counting is slanted. I'm just saying.

In fact as time goes on I'd think the error rate would go down as the workers get sick to death of looking up names and comparing illegible scribbles.
Posted by K on August 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
According to RealityCheck, "As Americans, both heterosexuals and homosexuals have the same rights — the right to get an education, own a home, pursue a career, live where they want, worship as they choose and vote their convictions. As Americans, this is the way it should be."

Where's the reality here? There are some rights granted by the government's recognition of marriage between heterosexual couples that are denied to homosexual couples. RealityCheck, why not check the reality? No one's seeking to impose anything on you. No one's going to force you to marry someone of the same sex. Same-sex couples are simply asking for the same rights granted heterosexual couples. Why do you have a problem with that?
Posted by CW in TN on August 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
@58: Yes, I did. At a 4th of July fireworks show no less.

And if I were interested in having the law reconsidered I would have had no problem finding one. And if you couldn't, ProtectMarriageWA would have been more than happy to mail you one. So "people couldn't find one" is a disingenuous argument. Did they *try*? (If not, then I question how important the issue was to them.)

All the rest of your points... poor organization, not enough signature gatherers... If there is such a broad interest in the referendum, why couldn't a better organized operation step up and get involved? Why couldn't they find more people willing to gather signatures? Why didn't those involved take greater care in handling the petitions? No, sorry, none of those reasons are excuses if you still contend that a broad base of people had a strong interest in seeing this law reconsidered, because if there really was such a broad base, none of those would be issues either.
Posted by K on August 7, 2009 at 9:31 AM · Report this
This illustrates on so many levels why I don't sign petitions on anything.
Posted by Apathetic on August 7, 2009 at 10:14 AM · Report this
RCinSoCal 78
Loveschild (aka Maggie f'n G) - It appears to me and probobly everyon that you must have it your way or cry faul! They were REQUIRED a certain number of signatures..they were happy to brag about how simply they'd obtain them...they got barely over that number and as youc an see quite a few are illigal...people signing twice..people not registered...people allegidly signing for others...and so on. so you want us to play nice right, be "tollerent" of your right to "religious down throut shoving" but you can't follow the rules. And with the wah wah wah about your "peoples" names being shown to the public if they promote discrimination against gay families and they're "fear" about being yelled at boucotted and so fourth...what the H are you worried about??? if you are so on the "right side of morality and the majority" what are you afraid of..if you are so RIGHT??!! Do you hear anyone worriying about the other side getting outed??? no. because they know and beleive they are doing the REAL right thing so they do not care and have no is obvious that your hate mongering flock should still be wearing thier hoods...that way you all can hide where ever you go and noone would know who you can go back to your marches and everything yelling your hate words and then take your hood off and happily take our money when we support your businesses...sound fair? NOT!
Posted by RCinSoCal on August 7, 2009 at 12:33 PM · Report this
@61: "I'm against any do gooder trying to stick their nose into the private lives of consenting adults." I think it's great that you hold this view without conditions, as this means you oppose Referendum 71 and its goal to allow a small fundamentalist minority to stick its nose into the private lives of consenting adults. In full honesty and in good faith, I personally, truly appreciate your opposition to R71.
Posted by Number 6 on August 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Hey, RealityCheck, read this:…

Maybe when you're done you'll be willing to admit your claim that homosexuals and heterosexuals have the same rights is a big fat lie. I doubt you'll be willing to admit that, but it's a real reality check for the rest of us.
Posted by CW in TN on August 7, 2009 at 2:08 PM · Report this
"Why are you all afraid of a vote on the issue? Are you afraid of democracy? Afraid of the majority opinion ? If any issue has merit the citizens will vote to uphold the law or issue right?"

Not on issues of civil rights. Those should not be decided by majority opinion or a vote. Majority opinion is fine on issues of taxation, government services, transportation, or funding... but it has no place in deciding whether the majority gets to limits the rights of a minority group.

The very Bill of Rights was written with the purpose of avoiding that very prospect.
Posted by mikegillis on August 7, 2009 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Why are you such a nasty person? The vote isnt even about marriage, its about equal rights in a partnership... I would think someone who loves guns and wants everyone to have that freedom (such an asinine freedom) wouldnt mind everyone having the same rights when it comes to who they love. I mean you sound sorta like you want people to have freedoms O_o.
Also RealityCheck, you should reread Simac message @51, the education process can do you good =).
Posted by FruitOfTheLoom on August 7, 2009 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Rev.Smith 83
@20 ah yes, the pink triangle conspiracy. A classic. The same secret agents you speak of got Will & Grace on air, made Shakespeare popular, and made up the entire paying audience of Brokeback Mountain. Thanks for outing them.
Posted by Rev.Smith on August 8, 2009 at 11:10 AM · Report this
whatdoesthatmean 84
Well, the important thing is that once again facts and figures, not emotional tirades, will come out on top. It can happen one way such as with the outcome of Proposition 8 in California, or it can happen another way such as with the numbers as referenced in this piece.

You can't argue with the cold hard figures.
Posted by whatdoesthatmean on August 10, 2009 at 9:19 AM · Report this
I don't get why people in general want or need to have the government recognize their relationship on any level. Choosing to enter into a 'union' is a personal decision - straight, gay, or anything else - and I disagree that the government should have a say in it whatsoever. Why can't we just put to a vote that you can marry anyone you want, but it just matters to you and yours and leave the rest of the fucking earth out of the whole damn thing?
Posted by allstar7 on August 14, 2009 at 4:41 PM · Report this
uplate 86
to 85
are you purposing that we take the legal rights and protections be taken away from hetrosexual couples and families in order to put them on the same level as thier homosexual counterparts? i dont really ever see THAT happening.
Posted by uplate on September 11, 2009 at 1:50 AM · Report this

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