It Would Cost $3 a Name to Verify Signatures on Anti-Arena Petition, City Clerk Says

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It’s as simple as signing your name.

But that way of lending support to sideline Sacramento’s plan to help build the Kings a new arena – still the focus of intense controversy around Sac town.

Pro-arena advocates,, recently revealed they sent a letter to Sacramento’s city clerk asking that signatures on a ballot petition to stop the facility be counted individually.

That petition is tainted in the eyes of many fans.

The problem?

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission discovered that Chris Hansen – the man who tried to steal the Kings – bankrolled efforts to sign voters on to that petition.

Now there’s news that there will be no quick score in the form of an answer to’s request.

“Until I actually have the initiative petition there isn’t really anything I can state as fact,” said Shirley Concolino, Sacramento city clerk.

That means Concolino won’t have an answer until December 16 – the deadline for anti-arena groups to turn in what they’ve collected.

Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed To Pork or S.T.O.P., is the group officially pushing for the ballot initiative.

Leaders have said they will accept names collected by the supposedly separate signature gatherers funded by Hansen. wants a 100% count versus the usual random sample, claiming shady dealings by the company that hired some of the petition-takers.

Once in hand, what could tell Concolino something’s wrong with S.T.O.P’s signatures?

“Things like area codes that are not in our region which are obvious … We even get things like Mickey Mouse as a signature on it, which you know is not a valid signature. So when you’re doing your count and you’re figuring out what you really have, a lot of things will come to light,” said Concolino.

But in recent history, there haven’t been enough red flags to ask Sacramento county’s registrar of voters to check each name.

“No, not in the 11 years I’ve been city clerk,” said Concolino.

Come December, Concolino’s job will be to verify that petitioners have enough names to qualify their measure for next June’s ballot.

Sacramento County’s registrar of voters verifies that the names listed are of eligible voters and has to get a request from the city clerk to do more than the sample a random count.

It would cost about $3 a name to verify the eligibility of every voter signed on to the petition. That would add up to $50,000 – $60,000 overall.

The city has a $300,000 election budget , which Concolino says could handle that kind of unexpected cost

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