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Redistricting referendum signatures must be verified by Feb. 24

January 11, 2012 | 10:35 am

Counties will have until Feb. 24 to check all the signatures in a campaign to qualify a referendum on new state Senate district maps, the secretary of state’s office said late Tuesday.

The referendum effort, undertaken by a group of Republicans unhappy with the work on the state’s independent redistricting commission, failed to qualify during a random check of signatures and will require a full count. 

Referendum backers also have asked the state Supreme Court to draw new state Senate district maps in time for the upcoming California primary on June 5. The candidate filing period for most races closes on March 9 and the court is expected  to make a decision on the Republicans’ request by the end of the month.

The referendum, which would ask voters to reject the commission’s maps, needs 504,760 valid voter signatures to win a place on the November ballot.  Referendum supporters turned in 711,311 signatures in late November and a random sampling of some 34,000 found 26,221 to be valid.

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--Jean Merl

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