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One Paseo Petition Signatures Will Be Verified One By One

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Kilroy Realty Corporation

An artist's rendering gives a glimpse of the Main Street in the One Paseo project proposed for Carmel Valley, February 2015.

San Diego's city clerk says the 61,235 signatures turned in to request a referendum that would block the One Paseo development in Carmel Valley will be counted one by one, unlike the usual sampling done.

Workers at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office will have a lot of counting to do over the next 30 days.

To overturn a San Diego City Council decision, a referendum drive has to collect 33,224 valid signatures. Valid means they belong to people registered to vote in the city of San Diego. If there are enough signatures, the referendum will go before voters in the next election.

Final Counts

Anti-One Paseo Petition Signatures: 61,235

One Paseo Signature Rescission Requests: 29,458

Signatures Needed for Referendum: 33,224

Photo by Claire Trageser

City Council President Sherri Lightner, Carmel Valley resident Ken Farinsky and San Diego Community Planners Committee Chairman Joe La Cava speak at a news conference before handing in signatures to block the City Council's approval of the One Paseo development, March 25, 2015.

In previous referendum drives, the registrar typically checked a random sample of signatures to be sure they were valid and then used that sample to decide whether the referendum effort had enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

But not this time. The 61,235 signatures turned in last week to request a referendum that would block the One Paseo development in Carmel Valley will be counted one by one, San Diego City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said. That's because supporters of One Paseo turned in an unusually high number of rescission requests — meaning requests to take back referendum signatures.

They submitted 29,458 rescission requests, said Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for Kilroy Realty Corp., the developer of One Paseo. If enough of those requests cancel out the referendum signatures, the item won't make it to the ballot.

Registrar workers "will start going through and they will verify the petitions up until they reach the 33,224 signatures," Maland said. "Then they'll set aside the remaining proponents' petitions with signatures on them."

Then the registrar's workers will begin going through the rescission requests.

"As they find signatures that must be withdrawn, they'll take those out of what they have verified," Maland said.

Then they'll go back to the original pool of signatures requesting a referendum on One Paseo. They'll verify those signatures one by one again.

"They will continue that process until they either have run out of withdrawal requests and yet still have 33,224 valid signatures, in which case it would be sufficient, or until they no longer have any additional signatures on the petitions, in which case it would not be sufficient," Maland said.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said between 35 and 40 workers will count the signatures, but said the verification process won't cost extra.

The registrar has 30 calendar days to verify the signatures, so the counting and verifying must be done by April 24. Maland said she will then announce whether the referendum drive was successful.

Signature-by-signature verification was also used in the last referendum drive to block the City Council's vote to raise the minimum wage, Maland said. That time, there were 2,699 rescission requests.


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Photo of Claire Trageser

Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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