Advocates for the repeal of SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 or the Gas Tax as it is popularly identified, recently edged closer to the November ballot when advocates turned in more than 940,000 raw signatures in their effort to secure the 585,407 valid voter signatures needed to qualify the repeal initiative for the November ballot.
Each county is now in the process of conducting a random sampling of signatures to verify that a sufficient number of them are valid. The deadline for completion of the random sampling count is June 25th.
If the random sampling verification results yield validation rate that is less than 95 percent, then the initiative would fail to qualify for the ballot.
If the sampling finds between 95 to 110 percent of the required number of signatures are valid, the Secretary of State will require counties to verify every signature—this is known as a “full check.”
If however, more than 110 percent of the required signatures are validated, then the initiative will qualify for the ballot without the full check requirement.
Beyond these hurdles, for the repeal to appear on the November ballot when a “full check” is required, the signature verifications must be completed at least 131 days prior to next general election. For the SB 1 repeal to make the November ballot, the 131-day deadline to complete the “full check” (if required), is June 28. If the Secretary of State determines a “full check” is necessary, the time needed to verify each signature may push the SB 1 repeal initiative to the November 2020 ballot instead.
Although SB1 remains controversial here in California, it does not appear to be an issue that splits along political lines nationally. Reports show at least 26 other states have passed similar legislation to increase fuel taxes, etc. to raise money for much needed infrastructure repairs—including in many states led by Republicans.