"State election crews have now checked more than 48,000 Referendum 71 signatures, adding more than 15,000 in the latest count.
R-71 is the measure seeking to overturn Washington's "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law. Proponents turned in 137,689 signatures - 14 percent more than the minimum. Referendum sponsors need 120,577 valid signatures to earn a place on the November ballot.
"The tally now includes 43,147 signatures accepted and 5,142 rejected, with a slightly higher rejection rate of 10.65 percent," secretary of state spokeswoman Christina Siderius said in a blog posting Wednesday evening.
Election officials have revised how they are reporting signature checks. They are being more cautious now because their initial reports included rejected signatures that were later deemed OK after more scrutiny.
Siderius said the signature rejections were mostly due to the person not being found on the statewide voter registration database -- 4,491 people. Another 388 rejections were because the signature on the petition did not match the one on file and 242 to disallowed duplicates.
"The duplicate number was up substantially over the previous day's 130. The duplicates are expected to push up the error rate as more and more signatures are checked," Siderius said.
The secretary of state's signature count is expected to be done by the end of the month. Click here for detailed information from the secretary of state's office."
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