Election Petition Signature Verification Random Sampling Verification Methodology



California Code of Regulations

Title 2. Administration

Division 7. Secretary of State

Chapter 5. Election Petition Signature Verification Random Sampling Verification Methodology

Article 1. General Provisions

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20510.   Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for determining the projected number of valid signatures on an elections petition based on a verification of a random sampling of the petition signatures.

Note: Authority cited: Sections 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20511.   Scope.

This chapter shall apply to the verification of signatures on the following petitions:

  1. Petitions circulated pursuant to Division 5 (commencing with Section 3500) of the California Elections Code.
  2. Signatures in Lieu of Filing Fee petitions circulated pursuant to Chapter 5 of Division 6 (commencing with Section 6400) of the California Elections Code.
  3. Independent nomination petitions circulated pursuant to Chapter 6 of Division 6 (commencing with Section 6800) of the California Elections Code.
  4. Recall petitions circulated pursuant to Division 16 (commencing with Section 27000) of the California Elections Code.
  5. Any other elections petition which is permitted by law to use a random sampling methodology to verify the validity of the signatures on the petition.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20512.   Effective Date.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the election petitions set forth in Section 20511, above, filed with the elections official on or after the effective date of these regulations.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20520.   Raw Count.

"Raw Count" means the total number of unverified signatures affixed to a petition and submitted to an elections official.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20521.   Random Sample of Signatures.

"Random Sample of Signatures" means signatures selected at random using a computerized random numbers generator. The sample of signatures to be verified shall be drawn in such manner that every signature filed with the elections official shall be given equal opportunity to be included in the sample. The percentage of signatures to be randomly sampled is specified in the Elections Code sections relating to the involved types of petitions.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20530.   Signature Verification.

The following steps shall be followed when verifying signatures on an elections petition based on an authorized use of a random sample of the petition signatures.

  1. Identify the random sample percentage from the applicable statute and apply it to the petition, thereby defining the random sample.
  2. Verify the signatures in the sample and determine the number of valid signatures in that sample.
    1. A signer of an elections petition may withdraw his/her signature from the petitions prior to the petition's filing pursuant to Elections Code sections 43, 4089, 5352 and 27304. If the withdrawn signature is drawn as part of the random sample, the signature is treated as a signature that is deemed not valid.
  3. Divide the number of valid signatures in the sample by the total number of signatures in the sample. Compute as a percentage to two decimal places.
  4. Multiply the raw count by the number computed in Section 20530(c), above. Round up to the nearest whole number.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Section 43, 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4089, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 5352, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101, 27215 and 27304, Elections Code.

20531.   Duplicate Signatures.

  1. Divide the raw count by the sample size to determine the value of each signature. Compute to four decimal places.
  2. To determine the weight to be assigned to each duplicate signature found in the sample, multiply the value of each signature computed in Section 20531(a), above, times the computation in Section 20531(a), above, minus one.
  3. To determine the number of estimated duplicate signatures in the entire petition, multiply the number of duplicate signatures found in the random sample by the weight established in Section 20531(b), above. Round up to the nearest whole number.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20532.   Number of Valid Signatures Based on the Verification of a Sampling of the Signatures.

  1. To determine the number of verified signatures based on the random sampling, subtract Section 20531(c) from Section 20530(d).

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

20533.   Elections Petitions Allowed to be Verified on an On-Going Basis Before the Close of Filing.

  1. Signatures in lieu of filing fee petitions verified pursuant to Elections Code section 6555.5 may be submitted to the elections official on an on-going basis prior to the close of the circulation period. The elections official may verify signatures using the random sampling methodology provided in these regulations, except that each submission must include the minimum number of signatures set forth in Elections Code section 6555.5.
  2. The elections official shall aggregate the statistically-computed signature counts for each submission to determine the total number of valid signatures on the petition.
  3. When verifying a signature in lieu of filing fee petition the elections official may use the random sampling methodology to verify signatures, the full signature verification method, or both methods. If both methods are used to verify signatures on a petition, the results shall be combined to determine the number of valid signatures on the petition.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Section 6555.5, Elections Code.

20540.   Example.

  1. An initiative petition was filed in County X. The elections official counted the number of signatures affixed to the petition and determined the raw count to be 24,034. The required three percent random sample for initiative petitions was drawn and 722 signatures were randomly selected. The signatures were verified and the results were as follows:
    Raw count:                                                          24,034
                                                                      signatures
    Random sample (3%):                                             722 signatures
    Signatures found valid in sample:                               516 signatures
    Signatures found not valid in sample:                           205 signatures
    Signatures requested to be withdrawn found in sample (included   1 signature
    in 205 signatures deemed not valid):
    Number of duplicate signatures found in sample:                  2 signatures
    1. The elections official computed the percent of valid          516 / 722 =
      signatures by dividing the total number of signatures found       71.47%
      valid in the sample, 516, by the total number of signatures
      in the sample, 722.
    2. The elections official then multiplied the raw count of      24,034 x .7147
      24,034 by the sample validity rate                                  =
      of 71.47% (or .7147) to determine the                          17,177.0990
      number of uncorrected total valid signatures.                  (Round up to
                                                                       17,178)
      The result was 17,178.
    3. To calculate the duplicate signature factor, the elections   24,034 + 722 =
      official divided the raw count sample size.                      33.2881
    4. To determine the weight assigned to each duplicate signature   33.2881 x
      found in the sample, the elections official multiplied the      32.2881 =
      duplicate
      signature factor computed at #3., above, by                    1,074.8095
      the factor computed at #3., above, minus one.                  (33.2881 -
                                                                      1.0000 =
                                                                      32.2881)
    5. The elections official then multiplied the number calculated 1,074.8095 x 2
      in #4., above, times the number                                    =
      of duplicate signatures found in the                            2,149.6190
      sample (2).                                                    (Round up to
                                                                        2,150)
    6. The elections official determined the number of valid        17,178 - 2,150
      signatures based on the random sample                               =
      by subtracting the figure computed at Step                        15,028
      #5., above, from the figure computed at Step #2., above.

In this example, out of the 24,034 initiative signatures submitted to the elections official, 15,028 signatures were projected to be valid based on the random sample of signatures.

Note: Authority cited: Section 12172.5, Government Code and Section 3520, Elections Code. Reference: Sections 3520, 3708, 3755, 4009, 4054, 4091, 5153.5, 5200, 6555.5, 6831.1, 27101 and 27215, Elections Code.

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