Random sampling is one way of determining whether enough valid signatures have been submitted to election officials to qualify an initiative for the ballot.
The other way of checking signature is a 100% validity check. Under this method, the "full-check method", every signature is scrutinized. States that use the random sampling method do so because:
- It is less expensive to scrutinize a relatively small number of signatures than to look at every submitted signature. For example, if 400,000 signatures were submitted, and uder a random sampling method where just 3% of signatures are scrutinized, election officials would only have to look at 12,000 signatures versus 400,000 signatures.
- They believe that the random sampling method is just as accurate as the full-check method.
States that use random sampling
- California: Laws governing the initiative process in California.
- Oregon: Laws governing the initiative process in Oregon.
- Washington: Laws governing the initiative process in Washington.