SACRAMENTO —Pacific Justice Institute, as part of the Privacy for All Students coalition, has filed suit in State Court challenging the disqualification of more than 131,000 signatures for the referendum efforts against the Co-ed Bathroom Bill.
The suit asserts that thousands of signatures—more than enough to place the referendum on the ballot—were unlawfully thrown out by election officials.
Brad Dacus, President of PJI, said, “It’s unfortunate when the Secretary of State and other election officials in their official capacity treat a referendum effort as a partisan debate. It is not. It’s about letting the voice of the people be heard.
We want to make sure every signature is counted, and every voice is heard.”
The suit seeks to have the Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, certify the referendum for the November 2014 ballot. It notes that election officials have unlawfully disqualified signatures, causing thousands of voters to be disenfranchised.
This isn’t the first time that relief had to be sought in the courts against Bowen.
In December, PJI was part of the legal team which filed suit against the Secretary for refusing to count any of the signatures in two counties claiming that they arrived after the deadline.
Judge Allen Sumner ruled for the referendum proponent and ordered the signatures from the two counties be tallied.
The disenfranchisement of voters by Bowen and others that this suit seeks to remedy is clear.
In a recent news article, PJI Attorney Matthew McReynolds, who testified against the bill in the legislature and has been highly involved in the referendum efforts, shared how he discovered that his own signature was thrown out.
The reasoning was based on his signature not matching a prior one on file—something plausible as McReynolds has become blind over the last few years. Unfortunately, for McReynolds and many like him, a developing disability are cause enough for election officials to disregard their voice.
AB 1266, the law these referendum efforts seek to overturn, would require all public schools in California to allow self-identified transgender students to choose the bathrooms and locker rooms they want to use, as well as the sports teams they want to join, regardless of their anatomical sex or objections by others.