Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 2015
Source: Dayton Daily News (OH)
Copyright: 2015 Dayton Daily News
Author: Alan Johnson


Validity Rates Fall Short in Major Metro Areas.

An Ohio marijuana legalization issue may fall initially short of the 
number of signatures required to qualify for the fall ballot.

Spot checks by The Dispatch with the Franklin County Board of 
Elections and boards in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo 
showed an overall validity rate of less than 42 percent so far for 
signatures submitted by ResponsibleOhio, the organization pushing a 
for-profit plan to legalize marijuana for personal and medicinal use. 
None of the five boards contacted is done with the validation 
process, which must be completed by July 16.

Lucas County had the lowest validation rate at 38.7 percent, followed 
by Hamilton (39.3 percent), Cuyahoga (42.5 percent), Franklin (43.4 
percent), and Montgomery (43.8 percent).

Board officials said most signatures were thrown out because signers 
listed the wrong address or were not registered, but some didn't list 
any address, used a false or illegible signature, or left lines blank.

ResponsibleOhio submitted a statewide total of 695,273 signatures 
from 72 counties on June 30 to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. If 
the 42 percent validity rate holds true statewide, the marijuana 
petition would fall about 13,000 short of the valid signatures needed 
to make the Nov. 3 ballot.

Husted will announce the final tally by July 21.

However, even if ResponsibleOhio comes up short, state elections law 
would give the organization a "10-day cure period" to gather 
additional signatures. Those names would be submitted to the 
secretary of state, shipped to county boards for verification, then 
added to the initial total.

If approved by Ohio voters, the ballot issue would legalize growing 
marijuana at 10 pre-selected sites around the state, or in small 
quantities by individuals at home.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom