ResponsibleOhio, the organization working to legalize a statewide cannabis industry in 2015, is reportedly 30,000 certified signatures short of making it on the ballot in the upcoming November election.
Although the group seemed confident last month before submitting over 600,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office, the Board of Elections announced on Monday that only about 276,000 of those could be certified. If ResponsibleOhio intends to move forward with its proposal, they must first collect the remaining 30,000 signatures within the next 10 days.
“Our team has done an excellent job of collecting signatures from voters across the state who want the chance to repeal failed marijuana prohibition this fall,” said ResponsibleOhio executive director Ian James in a statement. “Over the next 10 days, our team of over 200 staffers will be working diligently to collect the remaining 29,509 signatures we need to qualify for the November 2015 ballot.”
While the group fully plans to put signatures gatherers back into the streets, they are also challenging the legitimacy of the election board’s count. ResponsibleOhio claims that the Secretary of State has misplaced somewhere around 40,000 signatures because the numbers are not representative of what was expressed throughout 73 qualifying counties.
“The total number of signatures evaluated by the Boards of Elections is significantly lower than it should be,” said James. “Every single voter who signed this petition has the right to be counted. We will be taking these shortfalls to the Ohio Supreme Court to ensure that those thousands of voices are heard.”
This is not the first unfortunate situation endured by the folks of ResponsibleOhio, but some believe it could cost important investors to withdrawal their support. A recent article in the “Cleveland Leader” suggests that investors have been somewhat skeptical about tossing money into the ring for signature collecting efforts because of the negative connotations associated with this particular initiative. Rumors speculate that some have already pulled out.
Nevertheless, ResponsibleOhio seems to be clinging to a shred of hope, reportedly on a mission to collect the missing signatures with the assistance of unpaid volunteers because “there’s no money,” according to The Leader.
Do you think the organization will get enough signatures? Tell us in the comments.