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County expects to begin crosschecking arena petition signatures Thursday

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The county expects to have the petition withdrawal forms wrapped up by Thursday, which would begin the verification and crosschecking process of the signatures on STOP's petition.

The county of Sacramento expects to be done with the verification process of the arena petition withdrawal forms turned in by downtownarena.org by the end of the day Tuesday at the earliest, and Thursday at the latest. At that point, the county would begin the verification process of STOP's (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) petitions.

As of Monday afternoon, 14,012 withdrawal cards of the 15,277 total forms turned in by downtownarena.org/Crown Downtown had been processed, according to Jill LaVine, county registrar of voters. Of those processed, 9,576 were valid voters. These voters may or may not live in the city boundaries and may or may not have signed STOP's petition. (STOP turned in a total of 34,000 signatures earlier this month to put the downtown arena's financing plan on the ballot.)

The county will be able to confirm how many of those who signed to have their names removed from the petition live in the city's boundaries when STOP's signatures are verified.

"We will verify the voter was an eligible voter in the city limits, at the address listed, on the dates the petition was circulated, and the signature matches. If there is a withdrawal on file, it will link up and that signature will be noted as ‘withdrawn,'" LaVine said.

LaVine said the county also brought in two temporary employees Monday to help the ten employees who were already conducting the verifications. She said the county is on track to finish the process by Jan. 23.

22,000 valid signatures are needed for STOP's petition to qualify.

As the Sacramento Business Journal recently pointed out, there is very little margin of error for STOP's initiative to make it onto the ballot based on the sheer number of signatures turned in and the number of withdrawal requests submitted.