What PJI plans to do if the referendum drive failsBottom Highlights, Trans Progressive Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Commentary: Trans Progressive
The signature drive to force a referendum on AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, looks at this point that it probably won’t qualify for the ballot.
The Privacy For All Students coalition (PFAS), which includes the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), needs 504,760 valid voter signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot. As of a Nov. 22, report by the secretary of state, they’ve received 613,120 signatures on the referendum drive petitions. PFAS has previously reported that they turned in about 620,000 signatures, so that leaves three small counties in California (Tulare, Mono, and Amador counties) to make up the difference between 613,120 and 620,000.
Not every signature that’s turned in is connected to a valid voter. California’s office of the secretary of state begins processing the petitions by randomly sampling these. According to the California secretary of state’s Web site:
“If the raw count of signatures equals 100 percent or more of the total number of signatures needed to qualify the initiative measure, the secretary of state notifies the county elections officials that they will have to randomly sample signatures for validation, to ensure petitions were signed by registered voters. If the result of the random sample indicates that the number of valid signatures represents between 95 percent and 110 percent of the required number of signatures to qualify the initiative measure for the ballot, the secretary of state directs the county elections officials to verify every signature on the petition. This process is referred to as a full check of signatures. If the total number of valid signatures is less than 95 percent of the number of signatures required to qualify the initiative measure, the initiative measure will fail to qualify for the ballot. If the number of valid signatures is greater than 110 percent of the required number of signatures, the initiative measure is considered qualified without further verification. Spreadsheets containing the progress of an initiative in the signature verification stage are updated regularly.”
As of Nov. 22, the valid signature rate for a referendum on AB 1266 is only 75.46 percent. To qualify the referendum for the ballot, they need a signature validity rate of 81.42 percent. The counties remaining to be counted and/or have their validity checks don’t appear to have the population necessary to raise the validity rate to 81.42 percent. So, one can’t say that the drive to have AB 1266 put to a referendum is likely to be unsuccessful.
Should the PFAS effort fail though, what is the coalition’s plan B?
“If, for some strange reason, they declare we did not have enough valid signatures, then we at Pacific Justice Institute are preparing to challenge this in federal court,” said Brad Dacus, the executive director of PJI on the Nov. 16 broadcast of The Dacus Report.
“We don’t want to wait till after Jan. 1 when we have the victims,” continued Dacus.” And, the only way we can pre-emptively do this is if there are parents out there – perhaps you’re listening to us – and your son or daughter knows that there’s at least one child in their school that claims to be a transgender. They claim that inside they have these feelings that they are the opposite sex. If that child can validate that this transgender has expressed their intention to use the opposite sex’s bathroom or locker room or showers, and they’re willing to come along side to be a plaintiff at our action, and if their child – and we’ll give anonymity, we’ll protect their identity – if they can do that, then they should contact us because that gives us standing to be able to have a pre-emptive action and to get this matter … um … uh … to get injunction against this enforcement as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s right to privacy that it guarantees to all of us, including to young adolescents and other children. So, contact us at Pacific Justice Institute if you know anything about this, if you have any information like that.”
Those of us who support our trans students shouldn’t breathe easy at this point. Whether it’s a referendum or a civil suit, it could be a long struggle ahead.
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