Ruh-ro, Shaggy. The Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Action Fund (the campaign fighting ShowMe Better Courts' ballot initiative) says James Harris' signature gathering effort has come up woefully short in Congressional Districts 5, 7 and 9.
Translation: The initiative won't make it on the ballot.
UPDATE: A statement James Harris provided to The Star suggests that Harris may pin the blame on "petition company reports."
UPDATE #2: The Beacon reports that Harris and ShowMe Better Courts are conducting their "own analysis of the turned-in signatures, despite the assurances from the signature-collection firm," and says he will try again in 2012 if they have indeed failed to qualify.
The Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Action Fund explains its analysis here.
Below are the results of the analysis conducted by Missourians for Fair and Impartial Action Fund. To qualify a proposed constitutional amendment for the ballot, proponents must collect signatures equaling 8% of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in at least six of nine Congressional Districts. Importantly, this analysis is based on raw signature counts, and makes the impossible assumption that ALL signatures are valid.
As the numbers above clearly show, ShowMe Better Courts did not attempt to collect signatures in the 4th, 6th or 8th Congressional Districts. To qualify, they must qualify in each of the other six districts. Failure to reach the 8% level in any one of those district would disqualify the proposed amendment.
4th CD: Did not collect
5th CD: Assuming that all of their signatures are valid, and assuming that all signatures from Jackson and Cass counties (which are both split between the 5th and the 4th CDs) are valid in the 5th CD, ShowMe Better Courts must have a 97% validity rate in order to meet the threshold, which would be unprecedented.
6th CD: Did not collect
7th CD: Even if all of their signatures are valid, ShowMe Better Courts missed the mark by 13%, even if we assume that 100% of signatures collected in Polk (which is split between the 7th CD and the 4th CD) and Taney counties (which is split between the 7th and the 8th CD) are assumed to come from 7th CD residents.
8th CD: Did not collect
9th CD: Even assuming every signature collected is valid, based on a sample of over 20% of signatures gathered in St. Charles County (which is split between the 2nd and 9th CDs), which shows that only 11.6% of the signatures are from residents of the 9th CD, ShowMe Better Courts missed the goal in the 9th CD by 9%. Importantly, even if 20% of the signatures in St. Charles county were from residents of the 9th CD, ShowMe Better Courts would still miss the goal.
ShowMe Better Courts therefore likely missed the necessary signature threshold in 6 of 9 congressional districts. The verdict is out in the 2nd Congressional District.
Remember, this analysis assumes that 100% of the signatures are valid, which is simply impossible.
For the purposes of transparency, you may review actual signatures collected in each of Missouri’s counties by clicking here.
More over at StLToday.com