(Peak note: This analysis is based on the 57% validity rate found from the 5% random sample of signatures reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office)
If the pro-tax side had pre-vetted petition signers, their campaign would have saved a bundle. Invalid signatures cost almost $250,000 (at $3.42 per name).
Suppose pro-tax Democrats actually wanted signatures from over 72,000 unregistered Coloradans. These invalid signers could swing the election if they registered on election day and voted for the new tax.
If this year’s campaign got 10% more votes than 2011’s tax hike try, they would still fall short. If, however, half of these unregistered signers actually voted, they would turn a tax-hike defeat into victory.
Obama Colorado 2012 herded many new voters to the polls. So it’s not far-fetched that Democrats would pull this ploy from last year’s playbook.
Suppose this campaign isn’t primarily to hike taxes a billion bucks but instead will evaluate theories to encourage election-day registration and voting in low-interest elections like 2014. (Even with same-day registration, North Carolina didn’t stay Obama in 2012, so they must do better.)
Support for Obama and Democrats is dropping. They’ll need new voters to survive 2014. This election could be a “live ammo” assessment of voter turnout and vote discouragement methods.
County clerks may wish to ask the Secretary of State for their county’s invalid signature number to plan for a “new voter” blitz this fall.