In-state tuition petition by the numbers
A giddy group of mostly freshman Republican delegates and their staff and spouses turned in 74,980 signatures to the secretary of state's office last night -- filling thirteen boxes with petitions from Marylanders who oppose The Dream Act.
Last night's haul brings the total number of signatures gathered to 132,485. The group needs 55,736 valid signatures to bring The Dream Act to referendum. As a fun contrast, 101 senators and delegates voted for the law, which would give illegal immigrants the same college tuition discounts available to properly documented Marylanders. For more background read The Sun's story today.
Last month the group trying to repeal the law turned in 57,505 signatures, and of those 47,288 were valid. That means to succeed the group only needs 8,448 of the 74,980 signatures handed in last night to be valid -- or an 11 percent acceptance rate.
More remarkable: The group gathering petitions, MDPetitions.com, reported that they spent $7,500 on their effort. They reported having $12,000 left over. So, in essence, they spent about six cents per signature. (This does not account for volunteer time, which was considerable in this effort.)
And they were getting attaboys until the end. One couple strolling in downtown Annapolis last night stopped because they saw the boxes. The man asked if the boxes contained the first legal shipment of wine (wine by mail became legal today), when he learned the boxes were full of signatures he excitedly explained that he'd signed a petition too.
Del. Neil Parrott, who was the leader of the signature gathering effort, provided a county by county breakdown showing where signatures were gathered. Baltimore County was the hotbed of opposition with Anne Arundel County a close second (full data after the jump.)
* Photos: Top, Del. Kathy Afzali sits atop boxes of signatures; Bottom, final scramble to organize petitions before turning them in Thursday night
Balt City: 1,744
Balt County: 14,119
Prince George's: 1,660
Queen Anne's: 1,321
St. Mary's: 1,434