Monday, August 31, 2009

R-71: the Count, the Lawsuit and the Republican Party

The latest R-71 signature update from the Secretary of State's office, issued Saturday, shows that about 130,000 signatures have been reviewed with well over 114,000 accepted.

The error rate rose slightly from Thursday evening at 11.81% to 11.86% through Friday night. The Secretary's office says they expect to be finished by tomorrow night. We will keep you updated. If these numbers hold, we will have the required number of signatures.

As you likely know, a lawsuit has been filed against the Secretary of State, by a homosexual advocacy group, requesting a temporary restraining order, to prevent him from certifying Referendum 71 to the ballot. Hearings begin on that today.

The Washington State Republican Party took action on Saturday regarding their position on R-71.

The Lawsuit.

There are two main allegations in the lawsuit. First, they allege that many of those who signed the petition did so before they became registered voters. I know that is not the case, however we are quite certain they could not substantiate that allegation anyway because although the voter registration is dated, the signature on the petition is not.

Secondly, they allege that many signatures were submitted and accepted by the Secretary's office on petition forms that were unsigned on the back page by the person who circulated that petition form.

The Secretary's office told Larry Stickney specifically that we could sign or not sign that line. They said, "If they are signed it's okay and if they are not signed it's okay." The reason for this response is that they have been receiving many signatures from many Referenda and Initiatives over a long period of time with and without that signature. This has been their consistent policy.

Hearings on this lawsuit begin today. Our attorney Steve Pidgeon, will begin making our case today. Please remember him in prayer.

He had also asked that this case be placed with another judge. As of this morning, that has not happened.

The Republican Party

The Republican Party at its quarterly meeting Saturday in Wenatchee, formally, and I might add resoundingly, put their full support and endorsement behind R-71. Both Larry Stickney and I want to express our deep appreciation to Luke Esser, state chairman and others on the state committee, for their full and public support.

Thank you for your financial support in this fight for marriage and family.

Also, thank you for your prayers. This is not an easy challenge.

God bless you.

________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Friday, August 28, 2009

R-71 Controversy Heightens With Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed yesterday in King County Superior Court to keep R-71 off the November ballot, regardless of how many signatures are validated by the Secretary's office.

The suit has been assigned to Judge Julie Spector, who is openly homosexual.

The Public Disclosure Commission yesterday rejected our request to seal the names of donors to Protect Marriage Washington. They said they saw no danger in making the names public.

And we are coming down to the last few days in verifying the petition signatures for R-71.

A homosexual rights political advocacy group, Washington Families Standing Together, filed a lawsuit yesterday against Secretary of State Sam Reed.

They are alleging that Reed has accepted thousands of signatures that were not in compliance with the law.

One of their allegations is that Reed has accepted signatures from people who were not registered voters when they signed the petition form.

Essentially, they are accusing many of us of signing the petition then registering to vote after the fact. I know that is not true. Absolutely not true. However, they will find it difficult, even if that were the case, to prove it because the petition signatures are not dated.

They are also alleging that Reed accepted, "thousands of signatures on petitions," that were improperly filled out.

The Seattle Times correctly quoted me this morning saying that this is simply a last ditch effort on their part. It is becoming apparent that if numbers hold, R-71 will qualify for the ballot. More on that in a moment. I have also included a link to a KOMO news article.

A deep concern that we have is that Judge Julie Spector is openly homosexual and activist. She is found on a list of openly homosexual elected officials. In her campaign to be elected to her seat in 2000, she was quoted in the September 13, 2000, edition of the Seattle Weekly, calling herself a "dyke".

It is impossible to believe an openly homosexual activist judge could rule fairly in this case. We are considering our next step.

Apparently, the homosexual activists are convinced that R-71 will make the ballot and the public, given the chance to express themselves, will repeal what the law makers have done to advance the homosexual agenda.

I agree with them. If people properly understand what economic and cultural impact SB 5688 will have over the next several decades, they will reject it with their vote. They will defend marriage.

The key, going forward, is to be able to fight this horrendous battle and educate the public regarding this matter.

The homosexual rights groups have already raised $89,000 to fight us. That amount will grow expedentially. We have, it appears, with God's help and a few dollars, been able to mobilize tens of thousands of people across the state, working with a coalition of faith based organizations, shock both the press and the homosexual rights activists. One reporter actually referred to this as "a miracle" in a conversation with me.

If you believe what we are doing is worthy and you support the defense of marriage, this our time. There will not be a "better" or more "convenient" time in the future as some have suggested. Senators Swecker, Stevens, Holmquist and Representatives Shea, McCune, Klippert and others have affirmed this both to their colleagues in the Legislature and to the public. This is the time.

Your donation today is urgent. I cannot overstate the importance and urgency of your financial support. I know you understand that. Click here to make an online donation.

All donations given to the Faith and Freedom PAC are used for direct expenses in advancing R-71. All income is spent directly on printing, mailing, internet promotion and going forward, media ads and expenses, rather than salaries or consulting fees.

The Faith and Freedom PAC board consists of Gary Randall, Richard Wilson, Sen. Dan Swecker, Rep. Matt Shea, Rep. Jim McCune and Larry Stickney.

We stand at a cultural crossroads. Decisions made today will impact you, your children and grandchildren for decades to come. And it will affect what your children and grandchildren are taught in the public school classroom.

Much hangs in the balance.

As Referendum 71 is, God willing, placed on the ballot, there will be much work to do over the next couple of months. The PAC will be directly advocating the rejection of SB 5688 on the ballot, while the non-profit Faith and Freedom Foundation will be educating the public regarding this issue.

Thank you for standing with us.

Yesterday the Public Disclosure Commission rejected our request to seal the names of donors to Protect Marriage Washington. Although there have been a number of threats made against people active in this campaign, including a published death threat against me and Larry Stickney, they concluded there was no direct threat to the donors.

A Temporary Restraining Order which orders the Secretary of State to not release the names of those who signed the R-71 petition, remains in affect until September 3---next Thursday. At that time the judge will rule on the matter.

Today's report from the Secretary's office on the signature validation progress is showing that nearly 111,000 signatures have been approved. Last night's tally shows the error rate has moved downward from 11.85% on Wednesday to 11.81% on Thursday. The Secretary's office says they expect to complete the process by next Tuesday. We cannot have an error rate greater than 12.4% to make the ballot.

Thank you for standing with us in these historic times.

God bless you.

_____________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Olympia Preparing for Christmas

R-71 UPDATE: More than 6,000 signatures have been counted since the Monday update, bringing the cumulative total to 110,288 checked signatures.

Of this total, 97,261 have been accepted and 13,027 rejected for one reason or another. The overall error rate is now 11.81 percent, up slightly from the 11.72 percent reported Monday.

___________________

Olympia Preparing for Christmas

They are not actually calling it "Christmas," they're calling it "holiday," but the department that oversees the Capitol grounds is getting a jump on "holiday" this year. They have introduced what they are calling, "an interim policy." It went into effect this week---while you were getting your kids ready to go back to school.

The "policy" is to avoid the furor experienced last "holiday" when an atheist placed an anti-Christian sign beside a Nativity in the Capitol.

"We want to preserve everyone's right to free expression," they say. However, a closer look at their "interim policy" reminds me of some of the state government's interim type policies we have been experiencing over at the Elections office in regard to verifying signatures for R-71.

Let me explain.

The new interim policy essentially eliminates anyone from any expression of "holiday" on the Capitol grounds. Now we have free expression for everyone---which is no expression. Everyone is free to not express themselves.

Dan Barker, the guy who put the atheist, anti-Christian sign beside the Nativity last year, told The Seattle Times, the new policy was, "What we wanted all along---we were protesting the Nativity scene."

The government's policy is flawed because it eliminates free expression under the guise of protecting free expression. It is further flawed because it is based on a false premise.

Professor Hodge from Princeton University points out where this logic leads. In expressing his concern about the negative influence of atheism on public education, he wrote:

"If every party in the state has the right of excluding from the public schools whatever he does not believe to be true, then he that believes most must give way to him that believes least, and then he that believes least must give way to him that believes nothing, no matter in how small a minority the atheists or agnostics may be."

Professor Hodge expressed his concerns in 1887. We see the results in our present day public education system.

This logic allows those few who believe nothing, to silence Christians, a large majority, who see Christmas as the time when God became flesh and dwelt among us in order to restore broken lives.

However, it likely covers the back side of those looking after the Capitol grounds. It keeps the likes of Bill O'Reilly off the back of the Governor and it gives the "separation of church and state" folks an early "holiday" gift.

The Governor would point out it is a "win-win" policy.

Merry Christmas.

______________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ELCA Abandons Biblical Teaching on Homosexuality

R-71 UPDATE: 100,000 Milestone

The Referendum 71 signature verification process has reached a milestone: Signature checkers have surpassed the 100,000 signature mark .

The cumulative total is now nearly 104,000 checked signatures and just over 12,000 rejected for one reason or another. The overall error rate is 11.72 percent. In order to make the November statewide ballot, the referendum’s overall rejection rate must not go over 12.4 percent.

Read More
__________________

ELCA Abandons Biblical Teaching on Homosexuality

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has made the decision to lift the ban on sexually active, monogamous homosexuals and lesbians as clergy.

Many Lutheran pastors are expressing shock that their church has made a decision in direct contradiction of biblical teaching.

Rev. Richard Mahan, pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston W. Va., told the Associated Press, "I can't believe the church I loved and served for 40 years can condone what God condemns."

The pastor said, "No where in Scripture does it say homosexuality and same-sex marriage is acceptable to God. Instead, it says it is immoral and perverted."

Clearly there will be a split in the ELCA denomination just as we are seeing in the Episcopal church.

This is the most divisive moral issue of our time.

It is not only tearing apart churches like the ELCA and the Episcopal Church, it is in different and even more divisive ways beginning to tear at the fabric of traditional evangelical churches who once took an active public stand against homosexual legislation.

Voices that once stood for family and marriage and even life itself in the public arena, are now semi-silenced.

I have some deep concerns.

Rather than silencing the lambs, some of the shepherds have been silenced---for a number of reasons.

Clearly there are those who are turning away and denying biblical truth. There are also those who believe that the church should not be involved in the arena of political influence---should not speak to the culture.

And there are those who have concluded that the issues have been lost and we should not waste our resources and energy on them. "The truth is we are dead and a referendum will not accomplish a resurrection," they have said, thus providing a logic not to stand against homosexual marriage.

These are defining days. The enemy is at every hand. We need to hear the leading of God in these matters.

This is a time to pray, asking God to lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

______________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Monday, August 24, 2009

President Double Speaks On Morality

R-71 UPDATE: R-71 Error Rate Drops

The Secretary of State's office issued a report on Saturday that shows the error rate on signatures dropped from Thursday to Friday. The report says in part:

The Elections Division’s signature checkers have reviewed just over 9,000 new Referendum 71 signatures . The cumulative signature check total is now more than 97,000, almost two-thirds of the total submitted in late July.

Nearly 86,000 signatures have been accepted and almost 11,400 rejected for one reason or another. The signature error rate has dropped from yesterday’s 11.97 percent to the current rate of 11.68 percent. The overall rejection rate must not go over 12.4 percent if R-71 is to go on the ballot.

Click here to read more.
______________________

President Double Speaks on Morality

We are becoming accustomed to hearing President Obama say one thing, while we watch him do something quite different.

This past week on BlogTalkRadio, he urged liberal religious groups to, "spread facts and spread the truth."

He said those who do not spread his truth are, "bearing false witness."

What is his truth?

He told the religious far left to start spreading the truth that his health care reform will not allow government funding of abortions.

The President said, "I know there's been a lot of misinformation in this debate. And there are some folks out here who are, frankly, bearing false witness."

He says those who oppose his health care plan are putting out fabrications in order to discourage people from meeting what he calls, "a core ethical and moral obligation."

Is our moral obligation and directive defined only by whether we support his plan? What about the content of the plan, Mr. President?

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life said, "The call for reform as a 'moral imperative' rings hollow with Americans, because the overwhelming majority firmly oppose tax payer funding for abortion coverage."

David Bereit, national director of the 40 Days for Life Campaign, issued a joint statement with other pro-life leaders which said, "President Obama stated that abortion funding would not be included in health care reform. Talk is cheap."

Pro-life leaders who have reviewed the health care reform plans say the plans in both chambers of Congress, will, in fact, allow federal funds to pay for abortions.

Yoest said, "As the Hippocratic Oath reminds us, health care grounded in a moral imperative protects the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn and the elderly. Real health care does not fund the destruction of unborn children, and it does not delay or deny care to the sick, elderly and weak among us---but that is the prospect we currently face."

President Obama and the far left are trying to frame the health care debate not on it's moral substance, but rather defining support as a "moral imperative" and to disagree, immoral or a moral failure.

Relativism.

We have seen his double speak on marriage. He has said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, yet he has begun the task of abolishing the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which will deconstruct marriage forever, opening the door for not only legalized homosexual "marriage," but marriage for polygamists, group marriage and beyond.

Now he is calling passing his health care plan a "moral imperative," and if anyone raises the true morality questions they are said to be, "bearing false witness."

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the press on Friday that President Obama is, "quite comfortable" with the prospect of being a one-term president.

I would also be quite comfortable with that.

Zogby International Poll was reporting on Friday that the President's approval rating hit a new low, with only a 45% approval rating.

Remember the old saying, "you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all...?" Sure, you remember it.

Perhaps times are beginning to change.

Be prayerful. Be vigilant. Be active.

_________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Open Letter to Secretary of State

R-71 UPDATE: The error rate on signatures for R-71 has continued to climb throughout this week. The following is from a report filed by the Secretary's office.


The daily update showed these cumulative totals: 88,191 checked, with 77,637 accepted and 10,554 rejected. The rejection rate has now risen to 11.97 percent. We can sustain an overall error rate of no more than 12.4 percent to make the ballot.

________________


Open Letter to Secretary of State

I have included two very important letters. The first is a letter written by Larry Stickney with my full concurrence on the facts and the conclusions. It includes notes from our observers.

I have also included a letter from attorney Steven Pidgeon which was sent to the Secretary of State last night.

The communications are very candid and we feel, accurately describe the current conditions in the processing of the signatures we delivered to the Secretary's office.

Click here to read letter to Secretary of State


_________________

Open Letter to Friends of R-71

From Larry Stickney and Gary Randall

Thank you to the many thousands of you who have responded to our plea to contact Secretary of State Sam Reed's office. While that office has made a furious defense of their R-71 signature counting process since then, we continue to see a lot of unaddressed problems as the numbers continue to move in the wrong direction for R-71.

Even left-wing blogger/demographer Daryl Holman of Horsesass.org has expressed curiosity and surprise at some of the statistical abnormalities of the count in recent days. As Daryl notes in his Wednesday article (Shifting fortunes for R-71?), "This could, conceivably, reflect reduced effort by signature checkers to find the signers in voter rolls." In Thursday's article, he wrote the following: "in the last several days, there appears to be an unexplained, systematic increase in the rate at which signers are not found in the voting rolls."

Those of you who e-mailed Sam Reed may have received a response from Sam's executive secretary, Ms. Ingrid Pharris. She is, interestingly, the daughter of James Pharris, the attorney from the state AG's office assigned to defend the right of the militant homosexual organization (WhoSigned.org) to post the names and addresses of R-71 supporters on the internet so other militant homosexuals can harass them. Ingrid's letter was sent to assure you that the Secretary of State is going out of his way to make sure that the referendum count is being carried out in "a fair, transparent manner".

Here is an example of one of the statistical aberrations that has many of us scratching our heads: Of the first 72,273 (Wednesdays count) signatures tallied, only 9.5% were rejected because petition signers name was not found on the voter data base. Of the last 6,922 signatures counted the percentage jumps dramatically to 12.8% not found!

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State continues to tell us that the increase in rejection numbers are due to the increase in duplicates found. However, the increase in duplicate signatures has only increased by 0.52% over the last week whereas our rejection rate has increased by 1.29% during this same time period. Today, 8996 names were counted, which easily surpasses the normal rate of 7500 or so by about 20%, yet the Secretary of State assures us that they "did not decide to speed up the process".

To put it bluntly, the "spin" we are hearing from the Secretary of State's office is deception pure and simple. Larry was personally assured just last week after a meeting with Secretary of State official, Shane Hamlin, that they would not deploy more than 4 master checkers at a time. This is an important consideration because we are allowed only three observers on the floor at a time. When you have more than four master checkers at one time, the observation team of 3 simply cannot keep up with what is happening. We are now told that for most of this week, they have been using 6 to 8 master checkers at a time. No phone call or explanation came our way from the Secretary of State, just more frustrated messages from our observation team, wondering how in the world these folks get away with this.

Incompetence or skullduggery?

One issue the Secretary of State's communications team has not been anxious to write about in detail, is that they began the count utilizing an outdated voter data base. The effect? New voters who registered between July 2 and July 25 didn't show up. Protect Marriage Washington had sent out several thousand voter registration forms along with the R-71 petitions and signed up many new voters that were not picked up by the initial checks! Here is the story you haven't heard: The problem was discovered when one of our observers saw one of the R-71 petitions that just happened to be the one several of Larry's family members signed. When our eagle-eyed observer contacted Larry and told him that his daughter's signature was rejected, Larry and wife Polly remembered that their daughter had registered to vote in July and that she had her voter registration card to prove it. Larry brought this up to Shane Hamlin and was told that he would look into the matter. Shane sheepishly reported back to Larry several days later that he had "discovered" the older voter database was still being used and that the Secretary of State would be looking into ways to change over to the new one.

Fortunately, this has been a blessing in disguise as all of the invalidated signatures must be run through for a third check against the updated data base and we stand to pick up a large number of signers not validated before. Unfortunately, the Secretary of State decided to limit the third check to a quick check as opposed to the standard in-depth search utilized when counting other signatures. We believe that many signatures will be discovered on this third check, but even more would be found by employing the standard check process. Why the quick check, Sam?

Our concerns are based not only on provable numerical abnormalities, but by those raised by members of the Protect Marriage Washington observation team, who are working tirelessly for the cause on the front lines of the R-71 battlefield in Olympia.

Please take the time to review some of their comments at the end of this letter. Their eyewitness accounts of the hasty signature checking process and the negligent, uninspired, and shoddy work of some of the checkers is a reoccurring theme and in complete contrast to the rosy picture painted of the counting operation by Ms. Pharris and the Secretary of State's spin doctors. Sincerely, Larry Stickney, Protect Marriage Washington
Gary Randall, Faith & Freedom Network

________________
Comments by Observers

"I have seen firsthand how thorough investigating finds many valid signatures that are being ignored because of the rushing. Most of the checkers are college kids; I have seen the same kids spend 2 minutes investigating a signature, finding and validing it; and after they come back from a break complete with a supervisor pep talk, they resume their job spending less than 30 seconds - and rejecting the signatures. It is very frustrating. If the kids are encouraged to take their time and investigate, they find 90% of the signatures to be valid. When they are encouraged to rush because of a deadline, they only do a cursory look and then reject them. The bias is palpable in the room. They are now spacing the master checkers further away from each other so that we cannot watch them. Please call the number listed below and insist that they slow down and do a thorough investigation of all the signatures. Then pray. Thanks!"-- K.M.

"On 8/18/2009 I have volunteered to work as an observer for the R-71 signature verification. I immigrated to the US from Ukraine in 1998 being 20 years old at the time, so I am fully aware of the culture and how names in Russian are spelled out and translated into English. As I was watching one of the workers on the 3rd final check, I took notes for any mistakes in the process. I have noticed at least three cases when names of the people of Russian/Ukrainian (Slavic) origin were wrongly rejected. On one instance, the first letter of the last name was incorrectly read resulting in no database findings; I could see it from the Russian signature that the first letter was misunderstood. On the second instance, the Russian signature was only a half comparing to that of the database with the identical handwriting, the address was different though and as a result, another name got rejected. On the third instance, the name was found in the database, but the hand writing was different. Now, we have to remember that Slavic people who got used to write their signature in Russian a certain way for many years, may change their handwriting in English because not all of them really know English, so, being afraid to make a mistake, they spell out every letter resulting in a handwriting difference. Another point I want to make is that signatures in Russian don't have to include both first name and the last, it could be the first letter of the first name together with the full or partial last name, or simply the full or partial last name alone. And the last thing I want to say that, unlike American names which could be more than a few of the same in the database, when you come upon a Russian name, it is very likely that that is the very person who wrote it down, and there is no other with the same first and last names in the state of Washington. So even if the handwriting doesn't completely match, it would still be that same person."--A.S.

"It is interesting that "their" search page is set to 25 results per page which is an ARBITRARY number. Example: Say John Smith is being searched for his signature. He registered say King County...then relocated to Spokane...there OBVIOUSLY is going to be MORE THAN 2 PAGES at 25 per page, therefore, JOHN SMITH would NOT be found in King County ....if he moved to SPOKANE...and although he IS a registered voter...by this policy set today...his registration would NOT BE FOUND..Hence, this new "policy" appears.... (deliberately or mistakenly)....to lead to missed and/or INACCURATE search results."--V.H.

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help you last night. I wanted to give you my opinion and great concern about the different checkers I watched last night. L.N searched very well, using just 1 letter of the name or the number of the street address and tries lots of combinations. I thought she is a good Master Checker. P.T is very quick with the computer, but was the most thorough Master Checker I watched. He tried over and over again, probably 12-15 times to find a name. He took into account changes in signatures over the years. I liked his work too. I began watching M. at 8:58 and was VERY concerned with her searching. She should NOT be considered a Master Checker. After watching her do 7 searches in about 10-15 minutes, I was so shocked I started documenting exactly what she was doing. She may have been tired because it was so late, but I really think it has more to do with needing knowledge of searching a database. Her first search was always a full, first and last name search with her best guess as to the spelling. Then she would try the whole address alone. Twice I saw her get 8 and 9 exact name matches but she didn't check but 2 of them for signature matches. It seemed she was looking for the names to match the address. I jotted these thoughts down on my paper. Not thorough, very few searches, does not search by initials, fast, not enough combinations, usually full name searches (first and last), only tries once or twice on some, always used full name (all letters) except where noted in my notes. Although I think she is trying her best, she is a great concern to me. If I was to talk to her supervisor, I would say I don't think she understand how to search a database, because she is using all of the letters of first and last names, and that she seems to be looking to match the name to an address. We will be contacting the men coming up tonight to bring these papers up to you. Thank you."--S.K.

While observing the signature verification process last evening, I observed 2 noteworthy problems.

1) In two instances there were problems with the scanned images in the state's database. In the first instance, all of the voters data was a match - his name, address, etc... However, the scanned signature was for that of a woman with a completely different name (wrong signature scanned in).

2) The voters signature card was placed too low on the scanner so that only the top tips of the letters were visible, not sufficient to confirm the signature. Otherwise, all of this voters data was a match.

In perhaps 4 - 5 other instances, I felt that there was a sufficient match to confirm the signatures, but they were rejected. Most often there were people of the same last name at the same address, but not the voter (signature) in question. In looking at the date of registration on the bottom right of the screen, I could see that they were relatively new voters (registered within the last 3 years).

I also observed a couple of other rejections of signatures also of relatively new voters of which I felt there were adequate grounds for acceptance - unique or distinguishing attributes in the formation of certain letters. In these cases, all of the voters data matched and the signatures were rejected. It is likely that from ages 18 to 25, a persons signature will change somewhat as they have to sign an increasing amount of documentation after entering the workforce and (presumptuously) independent living,. They might consider age when confirming signatures if all other data is a match.--J.M.

Here are my thoughts and observations from Aug. 19, 2009 session, approx. 7 p.m. through 9:53 p.m. I was observing master checker P. the whole time. On the whole I am favorably impressed with this checker. He uses both single and multiple database entry points and gives very conscientious scrutiny to all questionable signatures, following all the election divisions guidelines for comparison. Nonetheless, I sensed that fatigue during this day's session might have lessened his performance somewhat.
Notes on Red marks upheld:

1. On Vol. 224, Page 7, Line 13, female name: There was a male of the family name at the address given on the petition. It was possible that the petition signer was newly married and newly living at that address. A search was made by first name, but checker decided there were too many entries of that name to search for signature match. When a search was made just by family name, I saw a middle name of the same initial as the first name go by, but far too fast to see anything else, and no stop was made to check the signature with that registration entry. He went so fast, he must have been looking for only one other factor, perhaps just the first name itself. (I believe that the middle initial possibility should have been checked because when signer married, perhaps she stopped using her given first name as her legal first name and started using her middle name as her legal first name, the same thing that I understand my own mother did.)

2. Vol. 224, Page 5, Line 10: Checker tried only one interpretation of the street number, whereas I considered there were grounds for two interpretations. The use of only this number in conjunction with other data points means that the other possibilities using the other possible number were excluded.

3. Vol. 216, Page 15, Line 15: The petition signer's first name was different from the printed name shown on the registration, but it appeared to me that the signature on the registration was indeed the name signed onto the petition. I suspect that an error was made in entering the man's first name into the database somewhere along the line, and this signature should not be excluded.

Other notes: Vol. 224, Page 3, Line 7 (kept green): While the petition signature does not look much like the signature on the registration, the printing of the name on the petition looks very much like the signature on the registration, suggesting that this person's signature has simply undergone considerable change since his registration. I hope these notes are clear. Yours in Christ, --J.B.

These are my observations from the morning shift on August 13, 2009.

I observed master checker Z. checking Volume 227 and did not observe anything unusual. Most of them he confirmed as rejected and reversed only a few. Page 15 included many Russian names, and of 7 initially rejected, only one was reversed and accepted.

I also watched master checker M. as he worked on Volume 228. On page 9 he rejected line 16, which looked to me like a match. His numbering on page 13 was different than the actual petition; his line 20 was the petition's line 19.

They both finished their volumes about the same time (around 9 a.m.); M. took a personal break, and when he returned he was doing initial checking. Z. began master checking Volume 229. On page 2, line 5, he rejected this signature, which looked to me as though it matched. On page 10 he accepted a previously rejected line 2 after consulting with M.; the non-sponsor observer took lots of notes when this happened. At about this point T. said she needed 2 guys; she chose Z. and C. Z. went over to her to see what she needed, and she told him to go back and finish his volume first. He started working faster so he could finish up. Page 13, line 20 appeared to me to be a match but was rejected. A lot of the names on page 13 were Russian. He especially rushed on page 15, taking 20-30 seconds to check line 2 before he rejected it.

I walked around to find another master checker to observe. I watched N. for a few minutes while T. gave instructions to Z. and C., which I did not hear. Z. then took a computer station next to C., so I went over there to observe. They both had volumes that already had 2 signatures next to each rejected line. I tried for a few minutes to figure out what they were doing, unsuccessfully, then went to the break table to get my sweater. I mentioned to V., who was working at the break table, that they were doing some sort of triple check, and I went back to resume my observations. The non-sponsoring observer was standing between the 2 checkers, clearly crowding them, leaning in, and obstructing my view. I tried moving around to get a better view, but through my glimpses I could not figure out what they were doing; the screen didn't match any of the rejected names, and I couldn't get a better view to observe any closer. This took place about 10 minutes prior to the lunch break.--B.C.

My experience today was primarily with two checkers who were doing the second check on initiative signatures. One of them was considerably faster than the other which led me to question why. Was the reason for faster speed due to knowledge and skill or was it due to negligence. The appearance of things was that the quicker man did not employ as many means for finding a signature and also did not spend as much time studying the signatures he found for similarities. Should you have any further questions please let me know.--D.C.

When I observed M., I noticed some things he did differently than some of the other master checkers. One for example Is he would put his hand over the signature lines to make it harder for me to see the signature line numbers. I don't know that he was doing it on purpose, but it seemed strange.

He also would not search in a consistent pattern as I saw some of the other checkers do. He seemed to search thoroughly on some, and others go fast through the checking. He also seemed to have more acceptance of rejects then some of the other checks like D. or N. I also saw him search for names that would bring back huge results, then just use his down key to scroll through the records, but not stop long enough to analyze. It seemed like he was trying to fill time. He would also stop and look at something for awhile, that was not even close to a match. These are just presumptions I made as observing. When I observed M., I noticed some things he did differently than some of the other master checkers. One for example is he would put his hand over the signature lines to make it harder for me to see the signature line numbers. I don't know that he was doing it on purpose, but it seemed strange. He also would not search in a consistent pattern as I saw some of the other checkers do. He seemed to search thoroughly on some, and others go fast through the checking. He also seemed to have more acceptance of rejects then some of the other checks like D. or N. I also saw him search for names that would bring back huge results, then just use his down key to scroll through the records, but not stop long enough to analyze. It seemed like he was trying to fill time. He would also stop and look at something for awhile, that was not even close to a match. These are just presumptions I made as observing.--J.

1. The average check is NOT 3 minutes but 1.5 to 2 minutes that includes MORE than just the Russian and Asian names.

2. Some of the newly hired checkers from last weeks hiring trained only ONE HOUR (we were present for their orientatioin and training!) are now being used as MASTER CHECKERS.

3. The ...seasoned...regular....on call college age checkers are allowed to listen IPOD's that have been loud enough that I can hear it while standing next to a checker...and I have a partial loss in my rigtht ear! This is going on while they are checking signatures. This is NOT democracy in acton.

4. Last week an observer reported to P. and I that he witnessed and documented a female checker "singing" out loud with her IPOD on unaware she was disturbing the other checkers. TWICE she was told by the other checkers to stop singing. The Supervisors have done NOTHING about this....INCLUDING Ms. K. B. who SCOFFED at this when we tried to raise this serious concern of accuracy!

5. "K" a master checker (I personally documented racing through master checks was rocking and bouncing with one knee, tapping his pencil on the desk with his right hand while listening to his IPOD spent an average 2 minutes or less on his master check. All his average 1 - 2 minute checks were REJECTED. As of yesterday, S. (Director) has not upheld his promise to keep the Master Checkers to a minimum of 4 "sitting together." When asked by me personally on Monday that the Master Checkers are not sitting together...Shane replied, "I relaxed this with Teresa last Friday and as a matter of FACT I am going to be INCREASING the master checkers this week. He has.... Personal documentation from Pastor R this am:
8:10 - 4 MASTER CHECKERS
9:15 - 5 MASTER CHECKERS
10:53 - 6 MASTER CHECKERS "MASTER CHECKERS ALL SPREAD OUT - 2 ARE DIAGONAL FROM EACH OTHER, OTHERS SPREAD OUT. VERY DIFFICULT FOR OUR OBSERVER'S TO KEEP UP WITH AND WATCH."

Secretary of State's office did not keep their word to accomodate our observers
1. S. did NOT inform us he had "relaxed' this [policy) with T.!
2. The Master checkers are scattered all over...sitting where they choose,
3. And, the Master checkers as of Monday has INCREASED to SIX - AGAIN.
--V.H.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"American Babies Are Ruining Everything"

R-71 UPDATE: As of the Wednesday evening report, Elections Division crews have now checked 79,195 names. The total was up about 6,200 over the previous day.

The error rate rose again in the latest count, to 11.67 percent cumulatively. If they’re to qualify for the ballot, backers need to keep their error rate under 12.4 percent by the time all 137,689 of their signatures are checked.

The bottom line, so far, is that 69,949 signatures have been accepted. It takes 120,577 valid Washington signatures to place a referendum on the ballot – 4 percent of last year’s total vote for governor.

The latest report said 9,246 signatures have been rejected – most of them (7,805) because they couldn’t be found on the state’s database of registered voters. Checkers also have turned down 700 because the signature doesn’t match the one on file and 703 for being duplicate or triplicate signers. Another 38 await an electronic signature from their home county that can be compared with the one on the petition.

Statistics from Secretary of State's Office

_________________

"American Babies are Ruining Everything"

We mentioned President Obama's top science advisor, John Holdren, a couple of weeks ago, pointing out his radical views on population control and his advocacy for it.

Evidently some professors at Oregon State University agree and have published a study titled, "Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals."

It wouldn't matter what these guys believe, except that they and others who share their views are teaching our children and advising our President---and unfortunately shaping the beliefs of the next generation.

Paul Murtaugh and Michael Schlax at OSU are suggesting in their study that if you truly care about the environment, it's not enough to use funny looking light bulbs, get rid of your SUV and ride a bike, but you must also stop ruining everything by having babies.

The "basic premise," the study reports is that, "a person is responsible for the emissions of his descendants."

This week Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary spoke to the issue, saying this view is anti-Christian.

The Wall Street Journal has written an excellent article on the matter titled, "American Babies are Ruining Everything".

In it they quote an email from Murtaugh which says he is not offering policies, "only some complicated arithmetic showing the likely effects of an individual's reproductive activities on future carbon emissions."

However, if you accept his assumptions, it means when a friend has a baby, you have to think we're all the worse for it. When you have one, you have burdened the world for generations to come.

The Journal points out that the new sounding words like "carbon footprints" is really a new reference to the old Malthusian view of people breeding themselves to destruction.

Homosexual activists have picked up on this view and often refer to normally married couples as "breeders".

Dr Mohler has also picked up on this discussion and definitely does not agree with Murtaugh's assumptions. In fact he addressed it on his radio program last week.

He says this view is anti-Christian and that Scripture is very clear on the blessings of having children.

He said, "One of the responsibilities of Christian people is to produce godly progeny. Nowhere in the Bible is there any kind of blessing upon any form of thinking that would see children as a burden, in fact both, especially the Old and the New Testament, were given to us at a time when many other people were sacrificing children on alters."

Indeed. And in our so-called enlightenment of the 21st century we continue to sacrifice our children through abortion under the guise of "choice," marriage and genetically connected children under the guise of "equality" and common sense under the guise of politically correct, socially engineered policies.

And we potentially sacrifice a part of our children every time we send them into the abyss of public education to be exposed to people like Murtaugh, Schlax and Holdren.

William Mcgurn, who wrote the piece for the Wall Street Journal, concludes, "We're not likely to get far with a "science" that defines the problem as American babies."

Nor are we likely to get very far without the influence of Judeo-Christian principles in our culture.

__________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

R-71 In Peril: State Wide Call to Action and Prayer

Referendum 71 is in danger of failing. Secretary of State Sam Reed's office is reporting this morning, that, "The signature count for Referendum 71 has surged to well over the halfway mark Tuesday, with 72,976 signatures processed---and a cumulative error rate edging upward to 11.32 percent."

"SURGE" is the operative word. Speed has replaced accuracy.

As the homosexual lobby has increased their pressure on the Secretary to "hurry up" on processing the signatures, the error rate has risen. We have consistently reported that as the speed of checking has been accelerated, the error rate has risen.

Please slow down, Sam.

The hurry-up plan was put in place as the homosexual lobby discovered that the faster the checkers checked, the more names were discarded as not valid. They began to put pressure on the Secretary a couple of weeks ago. He and his staff have responded, by setting arbitrary deadlines toward which they could surge, increasing the number of checkers, increasing the number of hours of checking and putting new policies in place which would hurry the process and result in an increase in the error rate.

The reasoning? I was told that with the possibility of a lawsuit and other pressing matters related to regular responsibilities, they needed to "get this completed."

Bias Is A Factor.

The liberal culture of Olympia and the Secretary's office for the most part is, I believe, a factor and very well may be the deciding factor on whether R-71 makes the ballot.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, in an op-ed piece in the Seattle Times, following the November 2008 election, urged the state and Republicans in particular to move away from social issues such as abortion and the marriage issue. He pointed to himself and Attorney General Rob McKenna as the only state wide Republican winners, suggesting social issues were losers for Republican politicians. He has been an avid supporter of the homosexual agenda. They have a friend in the Secretary.

Our volunteer observers, who are pastors, secretaries, doctors, tech experts, stay at home moms and any number of other people willing to give their time for something they believe in, have experienced a dismissive and often adversarial attitude from the staff and certainly from the homosexual activist's representatives in the office. Just last night, Katie Blinn, from the elections office was taking pictures of our people. In that kind of environment, they, of course, were concerned what she was going to do with the pictures. When our people asked about it, they were told it is a public place and, "I can do what I want," and she proceeded to take more pictures.

It is common knowledge that there is a warm and in some cases, familial relationship between the elections office checkers and the observers representing the homosexual activists. This is something our people have addressed repeatedly. We have kept good records and journals.

Much hangs in the balance today.

This is a call to Prayer and a call to Action.

1. Please pray that Secretary Sam Reed and the public servants he employs, will have the integrity to carry out their duties on the R-71 count in a fair and honest way, as they are duty bound to serve all the citizens of the state.

2. Action. Please call or email the Secretary's office today. Tell him to, "Slow Down Sam." Ask him to please allow enough time for all signatures to be checked carefully and correctly. He owes you that. Be respectful, but firm. He and his office will assure you they have done elections for many years and they have great systems in place, etc., etc. and are fair. Assure him you expect nothing less on this issue and you feel you are not getting that at this point.

Secretary Of State Sam Reed
Email: sreed@secstate.wa.gov
Phone: 360-902-4151

Much hangs in the balance. Please forward this to everyone you know who care about marriage and want to defend it. Ask them to pray and call today.

God bless you.

______________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Obama Makes His Move Against DOMA

R-71 UPDATE: Some would call it a coincidence, I would call it Providential. Let me tell you what happened.

A few days ago, Valerie, who along with her husband Roy, leads our observers for signature validation, noticed a name being checked that she recognized, because the name was that of a family member of Larry Stickney. The name was invalidated because the person was "not a registered voter."

Valerie told Larry and Larry said he knew that person was indeed registered because they had registered within the past month. Upon looking into that specific signature we have discovered and the elections office has admitted, that the elections office has been using the same database for registered voter verification that they used for signature validation on I-1033, which was a least a month ago.

Anyone who registered to vote within the last month or so has been eliminated as "not registered." Yesterday, the elections office began the process of rechecking all the 4692 signatures they had invalidated against a current data base of registered voters.

Of the 138,000 names that are being checked, someone could say that was coincidence. I would call it Providential.

Thank you for your prayerful and financial support.

The total now checked is 65,531 and approaches halfway to the full check of the 137,689 signatures submitted. The new tally shows 58,306 signatures accepted and 7,225 rejected (6,165 because the person wasn’t found on the state voter database, 24 where a digital signature is needed from the voter’s home county in order to compare with the signature on the petition, 566 where the signer’s signature did not match the one on file, and 470 duplicates.)

Overall, the error rate is currently 11.03 percent.

Statistics as reported from Secretary of State.
_________________



Obama Makes His Move Against DOMA

The Obama Justice Department yesterday filed court papers claiming the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act discriminates against homosexuals.

This is happening while the Justice Department is seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a homosexual couple in California which challenges DOMA.

So, is the President working both sides of the issue?

Tracy Schmaler, spokeswoman for the Justice Department said, "The administration believes the Defense of Marriage Act is discriminatory and should be repealed."

She explained that because DOMA is the law, the Justice Department is obligated to defend it. "The Justice Department cannot pick and chose which federal laws it will defend based on any one administration's policy preferences," she explained.

Justice lawyers, according to the Associated Press, have argued that DOMA is Constitutional and they contend that awarding federal marriage benefits to homosexuals would infringe on the rights of taxpayers in the 30 states that specifically prohibit homosexual marriage.

Now, President Obama has filed court papers that will cause the same Department of Justice to seek to repeal DOMA.

Gary Bauer, president of American Values, told ONENEWSNOW yesterday, that while President Obama is committed to repealing DOMA, he doesn't want to take the flak that would come along with it.

The above link is both the OneNewsNow story and the Associated Press story.

Bauer says, "What the White House wants is for a court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act so that the White House and the president don't have to take the political damage for undermining a law that protects marriage."

He also said Obama is contradicting a campaign pledge.

Bauer says, "President Obama ran promising he would be open and transparent, and no longer practice the usual politics of Washington D.C. Millions of people voted for him because they thought he would be more open in the way he governed."

He says, "That is not happening. What we're seeing here is something more reminiscent of the way they do politics in Chicago---saying one thing and doing something else behind the scenes."

If President Obama is successful in his political maneuvering, every state will be forced to recognize homosexual "marriage".

Polls show America does not want that. This is why the homosexual activists are trying to impose homosexual marriage on the country and on Washington State through legislation or through the courts.

This is why some of us are enduring slander and abuse from homosexual activists to bring R-71 to the ballot this November.

Thank you for standing with us in prayer and financial support.

_______________

Gary Randall

President

Faith & Freedom



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Seattle PI.com Seizes Opportunity Regarding R-71

The Seattle PI, the new online version of their news service, has been relatively quiet about Referendum 71---until yesterday. They seized the opportunity to make two points in one little article.

In their article yesterday, the PI pointed out correctly that the error rate on the signature count on R-71 has inched up the last couple of days. Interestingly, I didn't notice that they reported when it "inched" down.

As we reported last week, the Elections Office has accelerated the validation process, because, they explained to us, the other side is putting pressure on them to complete the process and because they have other tasks facing them in the near future, so to accommodate all this, they have set an artificial deadline to be finished and have accelerated the process.

We expressed concern that as they accelerated, the "master check" level may not spend the time they had been spending at that level, which would cause our error rate to rise. This is happening. They are spending lees time per check, at that level, and the error rate is inching up.

The error rate had been as low as 10.41%, then moved up to 10.68% on Thursday and by Friday evening, they are reporting 10.99%.

Because of the way most all of these signatures were gathered, the error rate will be lower than normal. Much lower. We are deeply concerned that the emphasis seems to be shifting from accuracy to deadline. The Secretary's office is assuring everyone they will be done by the end of the month. We wish they would go back to spending adequate time, particularly at the master checker level, to insure accuracy, not a completion date.

We are particularly concerned about the several thousand deemed "not registered" voters and the 501 signatures they say don't match the signature on file.

The PI chose to identify all of us who support marriage as "anti-gay rights".

I know there are those in the Seattle press who understand that at the heart of the matter, we are not "anti-gay rights," but are pro-traditional or natural marriage. This article chose to identify us in the more negative light. I, nor most of the tens of thousands of people who are standing for and actively defending marriage, are "anti-gay rights." We are pro-marriage.

It was only when homosexual activists began to demand that marriage be deconstructed and family be redefined, that we became active.

While some may become weary or distracted, there are those of us who will always work to advance Judeo-Christian values in our culture. Not because we are against things, but rather because of what we stand for.

These values gave rise to the greatest country in the history of the world and only these values can sustain this great nation.

Your support allows us to continue. Thank you for your financial support.

______________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Should Grandma Die?

R-71 UPDATE: Crews checking Referendum 71 signatures report they’ve now checked over 50,000 signatures.

The daily update reflects the completion of checks on 220 bound volumes that contain 15 petitions sheets apiece. The previous day’s report showed a big increase in volumes that were completed by master checkers, but Thursday’s number was much smaller. That ebb-and-flow will continue according to the pace of the master-checking process. The new totals here show that 45,099 were accepted and 5,394 rejected, for a rejection or error rate of 10.68 percent, up a bit from the previous day. The rejections included 4,692 whose voter registration could not be located in the state database, 19 whose electronic signatures are pending from their home county, 420 where the signature on the petition didn’t match the one on file, and 263 duplicates.

Read more ...

________________


When Should Grandma Die?

"The rumor," said President Obama, "that's been circulating a lot lately is the idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted on death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we've decided that it's too expensive to let her live anymore."

Now where would the American people get such an idea? And why would the President of the United States feel he needs to assure the people in New Hampshire and the country that he doesn't want to pull the plug on grandma? Did Ronald Reagan or either of the Bush Presidents ever feel the need to assure the nation that they did not want to kill grandma?

Here's why we are where we are.

We have elected a majority of people to the Congress who are not pro-life, pro-family or pro-marriage. Although some of them pretended to be some or all of that---they are not.

The President's words suggest he is pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-America, etc., etc. However, his actions seem to betray him on many fronts. It was difficult for many Americans to understand how candidate Obama could claim to love his country, while remaining in Rev. Wright's church for 20 years, listening to the anti-American hate, only leaving when it threatened his political ambitions. Twenty years is a lot of sermons.

He has told the American people and the Pope, for that matter, that he wants to reduce abortions, yet he has expanded funding for abortions not only in America, but around the world.

He has said he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, yet he has promised the homosexual lobby he will abolish the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

He has essentially pulled the plug on capitalism and free enterprise, has all but nationalized the auto industry and plans to further destroy the American economy with his carbon legislation.

It is not difficult for many to believe that while saying he loves grandma, his people could be pulling the plug---ever so gently on the best life for the elderly.

The fact that Representative Earl Blumenauer, D-Or., has introduced a measure that would provide "end of life" counseling for the elderly isn't terribly reassuring either.

President Obama also told the New Hampshire crowd that, "Somehow it's gotten spun into this idea of death panels."

The President has chosen Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother to White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, to be his top medical advisor.

Therein is another problem for some in our country. Did the President actually know what Dr. Emanuel believes? Certainly he did, because he is now defending him.

Dr. Emanuel has written a number of books and articles. Witting in the bioethics journal Hastings Center Report in an article favoring health care for active people, he said, "An obvious example is not guaranteeing services to people with dementia."

I am pleased that Dr. Dan Doornink of Yakima was my parents doctor, as they lived through their "end of life". He was not only a great football player, but he is a great advocate for life.

Dr. Emanuel also wrote an article last January in which he says age is one of several factors that could be considered in deciding who receives scarce organs or vaccines. "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocations by age is not invidious discrimination," he wrote, "every person lives through different life stages."

House Minority Leader, John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said of all this it, "may start us down a treacherous path toward government encouraged euthanasia."

Indeed. That would save significant amounts of money.

Newt Gingrich told ABC's "This Week" that, "You're asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there clearly are people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia."

As traditional, Judeo-Christian, pro-life and pro family values are restored in America, these kinds of public discussions will diminish because the focus will be on saving and sustaining life. Promises not to pull the plug on grandma will be a distant dark memory.

Certainly prayer can change these difficult times. It will also take action. If people of faith and conservatives will show up and vote our values, we will not be having a national public debate over whether our President is trying to "pull the plug on grandma."

How tragic. God help us.

_____________

Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom


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"All Eyes Are On R-71" but I Have Some Concerns

R-71 UPDATE: Election crews have now posted the latest Referendum 71 signature-check results, adding over 15,000 checked signatures, pushing the total to over 48,000. The tally now includes 43,147 signatures accepted and 5,142 rejected, with a slightly higher rejection rate of 10.65 percent.

It takes 120,577 valid Washington voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Sponsors brought in 137,689. That would allow a rejection rate of no more than 12.4 percent.

The cumulative report is here and the more extensive report is here .

Special Request.
We have a need for 15 more observers on our team in the elections office in Olympia over the next two weeks. If you would be willing to work a part shift between 7:30 Am and 10:30 PM some days over these next two weeks please contact me immediately at gary.randall@faithandfreedom.us.

You must be someone who is known to Faith and Freedom and/or be willing to answer certain qualifying questions, such as, where you attend church and the name of your pastor, etc. I'm sure you understand why this is essential.

The reason for increased staff is explained in my blog that follows.

________________________

"All Eyes Are On R-71" but I Have Some Concerns

Yesterday, I spent some time at the elections office observing ground zero. I have some concerns.

Brad Shannon wrote last week in the Olympian, "Election workers say they've never seen a ballot measure attract so much scrutiny as R-71."

Last week, the SeattlePI.com was predicting, "R-71's chances of making the fall ballot are diminishing."

The Seattle Post Globe was saying, "Anti-gay marriage initiative slips a bit in signature verification." And the Seattle Weekly declared, "No ballot for you. R-71 error rate creeps higher."

That was then, this is now.

As you know the error rate has now fallen to as low as 10.42%. David Ammons, in the Secretary's office, has said 12.4% or lower will put it on the ballot.

The error rate has fallen due to the master checking or third look at the signatures. Some signatures have been eliminated in the first two levels of checking for various reasons, however, upon closer check by the master checkers they have been found to be valid.

The closer our signatures are checked, the more they are to be found to be valid. You did a great job gathering the signatures.

I was told yesterday, however, that the elections office wants to accelerate the process so they can finish within the next two weeks. This would include working the next two Saturdays. I was also told that the other side was putting pressure on the elections people to complete the verification process.

Frankly, these are not the other side's signatures, they're ours, and we're not in that big a hurry. Larry Stickney and I have communicated that to the office. Late yesterday they agreed to see if they could eliminate this Saturday and work next Saturday only.

This is a major concern to me and others. Be assured, "all eyes are on R-71."

Elections has also increased the number of master checkers from 3 to as many as 6 at some times. We are only allowed to have 3 observers in the room at any one time, so it is more difficult to observe as closely as we have been on that particular part of the process. This is critical to us.

If the last check by the master checkers is compromised by hurrying through the process, our error rate will begin to rise over the next few days. We are keeping extensive journals of all concerns as this process proceeds and are prepared to address it in formal terms if necessary.

The error rate has been as low as 10.42%, well below the percentage needed to put the Referendum on the ballot.

I understand the other side is concerned. More than one person in the media has told me the homosexual rights activists were blown away when we turned in the 138,000+ signatures---a credit to your hard work and the Lord's blessing.

Speeding up the process works against our success. I am certain the other side knows this.

Pastors Roy and Valerie Hartwell are doing a great job overseeing the observation for our side. Roy told me yesterday that when they were using 3 master checkers, the average time per master check was around 3 minutes. Now that they have accelerated the process, it is around 2 minutes. If this negatively effects the error rate it will show up over the next few days.

I am concerned. But I am certain that we are on the right side of this important cultural and spiritual issue.

Please stand with us in prayer over the coming days. This is a defining issue for the next generation and beyond, in Washington. Voters have a right to speak to this issue.

And to be very candid, there is something much bigger in play.

I personally believe new relationships and alliances are being formed around this and other important cultural and spiritual issues. I believe new and younger leadership is and will emerge. A State Representative told me two weeks ago, "Gary, this is a defining time for the future of our culture and the leadership in the Christian and conservative community." Indeed it is. I further believe we are on the cusp of a renewed passion to restore, not remake, our culture both locally and nationally, toward traditional Judeo-Christian values. I can't prove it, but I believe it. I sense it.

Thank you for your continued financial support.

And thank you for your prayers.

God bless you.

_________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clarification on News Story Regarding R-71

R-71 SIGNATURE UPDATE: R-71: Fresh snapshot of fully checked signatures

State election officials have released the first of a new format of daily updates for the closely watched Referendum 71 signature checks. The late Tuesday recap, reflecting only the batches that have been fully vetted by checkers and reviewed and revised by master checkers, shows 33,214 signatures checked, with 3,462 rejected, for a current error rate of 10.42 percent, the lowest it has ever been.

_____________________

Clarification on News Story Regarding R-71

Yesterday the Associated Press released a news story, which was carried by KOMO News and other news sources, titled, "State Nixes Request To Seal R-71 Donor Names." It says, "The state Public Disclosure Commission on Tuesday rejected a request to seal the names of donors to a campaign to overturn Washington State's domestic partnership law."

As you might imagine the story is buzzing around the state last night and this morning.

Although Rachel La Corte from AP specifically wrote, "The Commission has added the group's request to a previously scheduled meeting later this month," the notion is out there that the request was thrown out. At this point they have rejected an emergency meeting, but have agreed to consider our request at their August 27 meeting.

There is some precedent for our request. The PDC granted a similar request to a gay rights group in 1994. The Tacoma Tribune says, "There is slight precedence for blocking campaign finance information. In 1994, the commission released a group called Hands Off Washington from including the occupations and employers of those who donated to the campaign. The group was formed to oppose two initiatives that would have prevented the Legislature from passing laws giving civil rights protections based on sexual orientation."

Josh Friedes, a gay activist leader, told La Corte, "We all have to be focused on creating a society which respects each other and allows civil discussion of controversial issues." I agree.

We have just completed a campaign in which young people, parents and grandparents circulated petitions to their family, friends, fellow church members and community, in an attempt to put this matter of SB 5688, which is the last incremental step to redefining marriage in Washington State, to a vote of the people. I did not see or hear anything that even approaches hate or bigotry on the part of tens of thousands of Christians and conservatives who participated. I did not hear of anyone who heard of anyone who felt hate toward homosexuals.

Christians believe in the wonder working power of Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, deliver us from those things that would destroy us and violate His principles and give us an abundant life in Him. We believe that is extended to all who have sinned. And all have sinned. There is a desire among Christians to see homosexuals experience the same transforming power of Christ that they have experienced. That is not hate. That is supernatural love.

I agree with Friedes, however, while branding all who defend natural marriage and oppose redefining it as bigots and hateful, there are those among them, like Mr. Bisceqlia, calling for violence against anyone who supports natural marriage. And this attitude is not isolated. Read a few gay blogs and you will see a high degree of this kind of destructive narrative. It would seem that "civil discussion" only means embracing and celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. A rejection of the lifestyle is only seen as hate. Or bigotry.

A "civil" discussion is exactly what we are striving for. In America, that process is carried out through the political or ballot process, not through violence or the call for violence. Nor should landmark cultural shifts be imposed on the state through legislative actions that isolate the public and their beliefs on the important institution of marriage. Senators Swecker, Stevens, Holmquist, Representatives Shea, McCune and others pleaded with their colleagues in the Legislature to allow the public to speak to the issue, but they would have none of it. In fact it has been stated that there is concern that the public might reject SB 5688 if they are allowed to vote on it.

It is our hope and prayer that the public will be allowed to speak on the issue. And will be relatively free from the persisting threats on property and life.

___________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

R-71: Election Officials "Revising" Reporting on Signature Count

The Washington State election officials have announced that they are, "revising and upgrading the reporting process for Referendum 71."

They say they want to provide a clearer picture of how the signature-checking process is unfolding. They also say they will be reporting each afternoon, beginning today. Their new reporting will give totals, rate and reasons for rejecting signatures. According to their statement, the results will be better understood and will essentially give "end of process results," which is supposed to eliminate much of the confusion.

We have placed a link on our home page, where you may check the state's latest R-71 report at your convenience.

Nick Handy, state Elections Director says, "We have a time-tested system we have used for years to check our initiatives and referenda, including master checkers and permitting observers from both sides to watch everything we do. We didn't alter our process for R-71. We are using great care."

Some in the state do not share Handy's confidence in the "time tested" state elections system.

As I read his remarks, I wondered why he felt it was important to assure readers that they have not changed the process for R-71. Are there circumstances under which they would alter the process?

As you know, we have observers in the room at all times during the signature verification. There are also some aspects of the verification process that have some degree of subjectivity. Our people are doing their very best to monitor those aspects with particular care.

Your financial support allows us to stay in this battle for the culture. Thank you so much.

Be prayerful. Be vigilant. Be active.

___________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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Monday, August 10, 2009

R-71 Signature Count: Good News --- I think

The newest rejection, or error rate, on the R-71 signature count was issued in an email sent out on August 8 at 2:39 AM. The election officials said at that time the error rate was 11.51%, which is quite low compared to most petition signature counts. That is good news and we are not surprised that the error rate is lower than normal because of the way most all the signatures were collected.

However, the Secretary's office is pointing out in the linked report that calculating the error rates are complicated and keep changing. It is important that you read the complete report.

Keep in mind that the bottom line is that we need 120,577 or more qualified signatures.

We have people in the Secretary's office observing the process. They have expressed some concerns, which we are presently looking into. I cannot say more on that today, but we will keep you posted.

You will notice in the Secretary's update that the election officials, "hope to complete the full check by August 17 or thereabouts."

There are some elements of the process that are subjective. We also have some concerns in these areas. One of the concerns is that in a stepped-up process, the signatures are not thoroughly reviewed. Careful review is to our favor.

I will keep you up-to-date as we proceed.

There is a continuing attack against marriage, family and biblical values, including an increasing attack against those who stand for those values and in particular, those who lead. We are also looking into what the proper response to these latest attacks should be.

Your financial support is deeply appreciated. Without it we could not continue.

The battle for the culture is fierce. Thank you for standing with us. God bless you.

________________
Gary Randall
President
Faith & Freedom

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