After the Secretary of State declared on Feb. 24 that the referendum failed because only about 487,000 of the 620,000 voter signatures were valid, volunteers with the referendum campaign went to several county elections offices to inspect the invalidated signatures. During these inspections, it became clear to the Privacy for All Students (PFAS) coalition that many signatures had been wrongly disqualified. The coalition filed suit on March 14 and sent subpoenas to most of the counties to produce the invalidated signatures.
Pacific Justice Institute is acting as lead counsel in the case, Gleason v. Bowen. The president of PJI, Brad Dacus, commented, “This is yet another attempt by the Secretary of State to deprive voters of their fundamental rights. It is outrageous that the State wants to avoid all accountability, even when referendum signatures are wrongly invalidated. We’re not going to let this happen without a fight. No state or county official is above the law.”
The referendum seeks to overturn the highly controversial AB 1266, a bill enacted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown last year that would allow students to choose bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams based on their self-identified gender and not based on biology or anatomy.
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