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Long-term care initiative qualifies for Nov. 4 ballot – maybe

Post by News Tribune Staff on Aug. 1, 2008 at 1:40 pm with No Comments »
August 1, 2008 1:40 pm

Secretary of State Sam Reed reported today that sponsors of Initiative 1029 submitted enough signatures to win a spot on the November statewide ballot.

Now it’s up to the courts to decide whether that’s this November or next November due to an error in petition printing. Here is Reed’s press release that explains what’s going on:

Election ’08: Initiative 1029 cleared for November ballot

OLYMPIA…Secretary of State Sam Reed announced Friday that Initiative Measure No. 1029, which would provide for certification of long-term care aides, has enough valid signatures to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November if the courts clear the way.

Critics of the measure are asking the state Supreme Court to block the state from placing the measure on the fall ballot and, instead, send it to the Legislature in January. No hearing date has been set, but both the state and the challengers have asked the court for expedited handling of the case.

The state Elections Division and County Auditors face early printing deadlines for the Voters’ Pamphlet and ballots. Military and overseas ballots must go in the mail by Oct. 5 and other vote-by-mail citizens can start voting by mid-October. That pushes printing deadlines back to early September.

According to election officials, a random check of petition signatures submitted in support of the proposal showed that the measure meets the constitutional requirement for a minimum of 224,880 valid signatures of registered voters.

It is the third initiative to be certified for the Nov. 4 General Election ballot. Initiative 985, Tim Eyman’s measure dealing with transportation, was certified two weeks ago. I-1000, former Gov. Booth Gardner’s assisted suicide initiative, also called Death with Dignity, was certified last week.

The official ballot summary prepared by the state Attorney General for I-1029 says: "Beginning January 1, 2010, this measure would require certification for long-term care workers for the elderly and persons with disabilities, requiring a written examination, increased and additional criminal background checks. Continuing education would be required in order to retain certification. Disciplinary standards and procedures would be applied to long-term care workers who are certified as home care aides. Certain workers would be exempt based on prior employment, training or other circumstances."

The complete text is available here.

Sponsors of Initiative1029 submitted 318,047 signatures to the Secretary of State by the July 3 turn-in deadline. Election officials conducted a 3 percent random sample of 9,706 signatures, checking that the person was a registered state voter and that the signature matched the one on file. The check showed that 8,452 signatures were valid and the rest were not registered, duplicate signatures or otherwise invalid.

The statistically valid random sample was used to project that I-1029 secured more than enough signatures.

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