The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act turned in just under 168,000 signatures, which is getting Oregonians pretty excited. We only need 87,213 valid signatures to get on the November ballot, and in 2010 we missed the mark by a huge number, so this is pretty good news.
Unfortunately, my math says we’re not guaranteed to get on the ballot – at best, we’ll barely pull it off. Read below for a full explanation, but my math says we’re going to be about 400 signatures short.
I hope I’m wrong, but only time will tell. The state has up to 30 days to give us a “yay” or “nay” on this one.
We turned in 107,992 signatures in May, of which only 55,869 were counted as valid. For some reason, the status of initiative 9 on the Oregon initiative status page calls this a 58.47% validity rate. It seems they only accepted 95,556 signatures for validation, and based their rate on the valid signatures out of that pool. This tells me that of the ~108k signatures submitted, 11.5% were dismissed out of hand due to a problem with the signature sheet itself. That is to say, the circulator forgot to sign, or missed the date, or something like that, causing the entire sheet to be rejected.
Anyhow, we end up with an actual validity rate of 51.734%, well below the 58.47% reported. At that rate, we’ll end up with 86,832 signatures, or 381 signatures short.
Obviously it’s impossible to just rely on the math – this number could be way off given even a small change to the circulators, signers, or even those counting the petition sheets. But no matter how you look at it, we’re far from winning this battle.