Thursday, November 24, 2005

Clerks' Week from Hell

As many of us chill and shift gears heading for the holidays, town and city clerks throughout our commonwealth will be during the midnight monitors and going through one stick pen after another. The anti-same-sex-marriage initiative petitions hit the counters yesterday by the 5 p.m. deadline.

Read all about it here.

Clerks have one week to verify the 120,000-ish signatures. Then the certified ones go back to the gatherers for presentation to the Massachusetts Secretary of State.

Rules are that petitions must be town or city specific. Thus, clerks not set up for such massive efforts have to compare to voting rolls. As one put it, ""We're getting stacks that are 2 inches thick and it's putting an undue burden on us," said Methuen City Clerk Christina Touma-Conway."

Meanwhile, KnowThyNeighbor is geared up to broadcast the sigs to those who have signed up on its Website and to post the whole lists are they become available. The idea is that civic-minded voters can either ensure that they sig is not there fraudulently or that their anti-SSM inking is registered.

We think it's a good idea, but moot. Getting enough sigs should never have been in doubt. The real contest begins with voters and legislators.

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