In an earlier post, and more expansively in my column last week in The Star, I wrote about the touch-and-go status of the Republican Party referendum challenging the Citizens Redistricting Commission's Senate district maps -- and whether supporters will be able to argue before the Supreme Court next month that their ballot measure is "likely to qualify."
Since last week column's was written, several counties -- including Ventura -- have competed their random counts of signatures. It's been mostly good news for the referendum's backers. Bolstered by an 82.9 percent validity rate in San Diego County, the statewide validity rate now stands at 73.32 percent -- slightly above the 72.6 rate they would need to argue with a straight face that their measure is likely to qualify. Ventura County's totals didn't help the cause; only 69.4 percent of the 17,768 signatures filed in Ventura County were deemed to be valid after a check of a random sample.
Counties must compete their random counts by Jan. 10. It will all come down to the remaining four large Southern California counties -- Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside. About 327,000 of the measure's 709,000 signatures -- or nearly half -- came from those four counties.