September 4, 2014 the High-Rise Safety Initiative submitted a second
petition containing over 33,000 signatures to override the City
Council's lack of action on our first petition. The second petition
secures our place on the November 4th
ballot if it contains at least 15,000 valid signatures, assuming we
also win the pending lawsuit regarding the petition's legality, where we
still have not received a decision.
This past Wednesday,
the City Clerk certified only 7,343 out of 33,366 signatures in the
second petition as valid, leaving us 7,657 shy of the 15,000-threshold.
A Determination that Reeks of Fraud
Given the dramatic
difference in the percentage of invalidated signatures, 57% on the first
petition compared to 78% on the second petition, it was immediately
apparent that the City Clerk and the Board of Elections had determined
to wrongly invalidate thousands of signatures -- and in so doing,
disenfranchise thousands of voters -- in order to keep the High-Rise
Safety Initiative off the ballot.
Sure enough, when
the City finally provided a copy of its notations, we saw that the
percentage of signatures invalidated because the signer was allegedly
"not registered" had skyrocketed from 43% on the first petition (28,404
out of 65,597) to 73% on the second petition (24,523 out of 33,366).
With the help of
several volunteers, we then reviewed a sample of 663 signatures
invalidated because the signer was allegedly "not registered." We found
that 43% were in fact registered voters; their signatures had been
marked "not registered" without rhyme or reason. If that rate held for
all 24,523 signatures marked "not registered," it would mean that the
City wrongly invalidated some 10,653 signatures, nearly one third of the
people who signed the second petition, and it would put us well over
This Must Not Stand
Earlier today we filed suit to have the City's fraudulent determination reversed and sent a letter to Justice Wooten, the judge presiding over our case, to advise him of the second suit. With only four days until the October 3rd
cutoff to have ballot submissions finalized, there simply isn't enough
time for us, or the court, to review the City's notations in their
entirety. But the numbers already speak for themselves. As we will argue
this week, there is surely enough evidence to conclude that the City
did not review the petition objectively and in good faith, and its
determination should therefore be annulled.
We will keep you
posted as this issue and the lawsuit regarding the petition's legality
unfold this week. Once again, we thank you for your incredible support
of our efforts.
Please consider making a contribution to help cover our ongoing operating and legal costs.