Stadium Watch: Chargers to submit 100 thousand signature in supp - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Stadium Watch: Chargers to submit 100 thousand signature in support of ballot measure

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SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Next Friday, the Chargers will turn in about 100 thousand signatures, hoping to quality their downtown stadium ballot measure and when the signatures are turned in, it's likely Dean Spanos will be there.

In the meantime, the city clerk said the competing citizen's plan for San Diego failed to qualify for the ballot based on a random sample.

But, this is not over.

What this means is all of the 101 thousand signatures have to be checked at taxpayer expense. Supporters of the citizen's plan say this is totally unnecessary.

The problem is San Diego uses the state code for its random sample process that was set up for all 58 counties and charter cities.

The code treats them all the same, but they differ in how they purge their voter rolls for example, making random count results uneven.

To correct this, most charter cities dropped the state code.

"When you're doing an initiative and all of the signatures are gathered by the same registrar and use the same process, same purging process, same updating process there's literally no mathematical, scientific rational reason for this process to be applied," said Steve Peace, who authored the state code, which he now opposes.

"It's a total unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money for a known result," he said.

Los Angeles and San Francisco adopted their own process and dropped the penalty for duplicate signatures.

San Diego still uses the state code and applied the penalty to the seven duplicate signatures it found in the citizen's plan.

"The penalty was a thousand signatures per duplicate so if there had been four fewer signature duplicates found it would have qualified," Peace said.

Then there's the penalty to the taxpayers for the registrar having to go back and verify all 101 thousand signatures that were collected.

"I don't think there's anybody that has any doubt the citizens plan will qualify, and that's what makes it particularly ridiculous, they're gonna spend probably $200 thousand, $250 thousand, $300 thousand to count something we already know the result of," Peace said.

Why hasn't San Diego joined other charter cities in adopting their own random count process?

"They just haven't encountered it and didn't realize the consequences, the taxpayer consequences of using the state process," Peace added.

Cory Briggs who authored the citizen's plan said San Diego's process is a tremendous interference with the public's right to circulate petitions.

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