Virginia Beach officials won’t tell a group of citizens whether or not they have enough voter signatures to place the city’s proposed light rail project on the ballot for an up-or-down vote. The group, No Light Rail in Virginia Beach, turned in 26,236 signatures, more than enough to reach the requirement of 25 percent of the vote in the “prior” election.
Yet, in a letter, the city’s general registrar announced, “I hereby certify that the number of valid signatures reviewed by this office as of the date of this submission exceeds 25% of the number of votes cast in the 2015 Election but does not exceed 25% of the number of votes cast in the 2014 Election.”
Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 120, providing an additional $16 million in funding to the state’s 58 counties for verifying millions of voter signatures on “potentially dozens of initiative petitions” and for processing the crush of new voter registrations. Secretary of State Alex Padilla applauded the funding bill, calling this election cycle “unique.” He explained that, “County elections officials must not only prepare for a surge in voter turnout, they also have to verify a massive number of signatures for ballot measure initiative petitions.”
Wyoming’s law banning initiative campaigns from paying petition circulators according to the number of signatures they gather is facing legislative repeal. This week, the Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee in the state senate voted to pass the repeal legislation, Senate File 35, unanimously.