Sunday, July 10, 2005

Be True to Your School

The petition drive to put a measure on the ballot in Charlottesville aimed at changing the method of selecting the school board to popular election rather than appointment by the City Council is humming along.

In order to be placed on the ballot, the petitioners must collect just over 2,300 valid signatures of registered voters (10 percent of those voters registered and on the books on January 1 of this year.) So far they have collected about 1,600 valid signatures, exhibiting an astounding validity rate of 89 percent.

This validity rate is all the more remarkable because the circulators are entirely volunteers -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents -- collecting signatures on their own time.

Even the most proficient of professional signature-gatherers acknowledge that a 50 percent validity rate is good, and a validity rate of 60 to 65 percent is excellent. Batting .890 is a Hall of Fame performance in any league.

The school board petition needs to be completed by the first week of August in order to qualify for the November ballot. At the current rate, it looks like the team will have no trouble getting enough signatures far in advance of the deadline.

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