Friday, May 15, 2020

The $5.5 Billion Stem Cell Count: Latest Report Climbs to 824,777 'Raw' Signatures

The latest count in the race to save California's stem cell research program from financial extinction shows that its backers have chalked up 824,777 "raw" signatures in their effort to place a $5.5 billion proposal on the November ballot. 

The number this morning is up from 760,601 yesterday. The proposal needs only 623,212 valid signatures to qualify, but many of the "raw" signatures are likely to be disqualified. Only those from registered voters are accepted. The current disqualification rate is running at 18 percent, according to state election officials.  That rate involves smaller counties and could change. 

The campaign says it has submitted 925,000 signatures to county election officials

This morning's increase in signatures reflects the addition of signatures from Orange County and less populous areas. Still to be heard from are San Bernardino and San Mateo. Officials in California's 58 counties have until June 24 to complete verification of signatures. 

Known officially as the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state agency is running out the $3 billion provided by voters in 2004. It will begin shuttering its doors late this year without a financial infusion. 

Look for an update on the signature count this evening or early tomorrow right here on the California Stem Cell Report. 

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