COLUMBUS, Ohio — State officials have ruled that a group trying to fully legalize marijuana in Ohio through a possible ballot measure has fallen short in collecting required petition signatures, which means the group now has a little more than a week to collect thousands of valid new, signatures from state voters.
In a Monday letter, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 119,825 valid signatures, compared to the 132,887 signatures required under state law.
The group now has until Jan. 14 to collect 13,062 additional signatures under the state’s “cure” period, the time during which signature campaigns can address deficiencies in the petitions they submitted. The signatures must come from voters who haven’t previously signed. Failing to meet the deadline would mean the group would have to start over, likely dooming the effort for this year.
Tom Haren, a coalition spokesman, said his group is “supremely confident” it will be able to collect the needed signatures before next week’s deadline.
“We’ve got a veritable army of folks who will be out gathering signatures,” Haren said. “We view this as a blip in the process.”
The coalition announced on Dec. 20 it has submitted 206,943 signatures along with its petitions. But elections officials rejected more than 74,000 of them. It’s not uncommon for roughly half of signatures gathered through petition drives to be rejected for various technical reasons, including the signer not being properly registered to vote. [Read More @ Cleveland.com]