Surprising slow-growth initiative supporters, Registrar Don Tanney reversed himself Thursday and said he will verify the petition signatures submitted this week on behalf of the measure by sampling 5% of them rather than checking every signature.
He also said employees in his office have counted even more signatures than initiative proponents thought they had turned in.
Tanney said he expects to have a decision on whether the measure will qualify for the countywide June ballot by 6 p.m. Wednesday. He had said earlier that checking every signature would require about 17 working days.
The registrar said his staff had numbered the signatures and came up with 96,401--766 more than the 95,635 initiative supporters had counted when they brought 96 stacks of petitions to Tanney's office Tuesday afternoon.
Tanney said he changed his mind about checking each signature because of the large number submitted.
Lower Number Expected
"I was expecting a much lower number," Tanney said. "With a lower number, I would need to use a complete check to be sure of the results. But with this many signatures, I can use a sample and, if a large error rate shows up, we can always go back to a 100% verification procedure."