(1) A completed initiative or referendum petition shall be submitted to the city recorder for signature verification. The city recorder may not accept for signature verification any petition sheets that do not comply with the requirements contained in state statute and this code for signature sheets. Within 15 days of submission of a completed initiative or referendum petition for signature verification, the city recorder or the recorder’s designee shall, by reference to the records in the Lane County Elections office, verify the number and genuineness of the signatures and the voting qualifications of the signers; and, if electors in a number sufficient under section 2.972 of this code have signed the petition, the city recorder shall so certify the petition. If the city recorder determines that the petition contains an insufficient number of elector signatures, the petition shall be returned to the chief petitioners.
(2) If the number of elector signatures required under section 2.972 of this code exceeds 4,500, the city recorder or designee may utilize the statistical sampling technique established by rule of the Secretary of State to determine whether a petition contains the required number of elector signatures. If signatures on an initiative or referendum petition are verified using this procedure, a petition may not be rejected for the reason that it contains fewer than the required number of elector signatures unless two separate sampling processes establish the lack of requisite signatures. The second sampling must contain a larger number of signatures than the first sampling.