The counting of petitions to put an up or down vote for arena funding is heading into the home stretch. 

The clock is ticking down to Jan. 23. That's when all the signatures for the arena funding vote must be verified and counted.

The Sacramento Bee says to accomplish this, the County Registrar has added an extra hour to the work day of election workers checking signatures against addresses and registration.

Wednesday afternoon, the officials had sorted through the first 8,500 signatures, finding 5,700 of them valid. That's a 68 percent validity rate.

Officials hope they'll make their deadline, but slowing matters is the competing list of withdrawl requests.

These names have to get checked, verified then cross checked to see if they're on the list of petition signatures and then remove them.

Elections officials emphasize they are doing the work cautiously.