Thursday, December 01, 2005

Punishing Petition Plethora

As foretold by many, the anti-same-sex marriage folk have apparently won the first skirmish in a two-year fight. Over 100,000 signatures is far too many for the relatively poor and loosely organized pro-SSM folk to analyze in a few weeks.

Co-Chair Arline Isaacson of Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus admitted that they had neither the funds nor the time nor the volunteers to weed out the fraudulent signatures to see what the real count was. "The system is stacked in favor of those who would commit fraud or forgery because the burden of proof is so high."

Meanwhile, all petitions should get their local certifications from town and city clerks and get to the Secretary of State's office by yesterday. From there, KnowThyNeighbor.org will make lists available per area, so that you can check whether you are on there and if necessary protest. However, there's only a month for that (January 6th).

Regardless, it is extremely unlikely that such challenges will reduce the figure significantly. It makes sound political and moral sense to go through the process though. This has been a stinking, cheating petition process and a record of just how bad will help in future decisions about regulating petition drives.

So, like the annual groundhog ritual, it looks like the big, uglies have popped up. We have more bitter winter of division in the works.

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