Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative Is Experiencing Low Signature Validity Rate, May Not Qualify For Ballot
The ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization campaign turned in a total of 695,273 signatures earlier this year in an attempt to get their initiative on the 2015 ballot. That’s more than twice as many as the 305,591 valid signatures required. That means that the signature gathering effort needs to have a 43.95+ signature validity rate to hit their goal. In some areas that goal is being exceeded. However, in other areas, the signature validity rate is falling short. Per USA Today:
Ohio’s secretary of state is expected to announce as early as Monday whether ResponsibleOhio gathered enough valid signatures of registered Ohio voters to get the measure before voters in 2015. ResponsibleOhio needs 305,591 signatures to qualify. On June 30, the group turned in 695,273 signatures with the goal of ensuring it would have the right number, 50%, to qualify.
In four southwest Ohio counties, final counts show the petition campaign had a majority of valid signatures only in Warren County, at 53%. Hamilton County had a 33.74% validity rate. Butler and Clermont counties came in at 41%.
If the Ohio campaign falls short of the signature requirement, they will still have one last chance to gather the remaining signatures. Ohio allows campaigns one 10 day window to gather signatures after the determination is made that more signatures are required. I am fairly certain that between the high amount of initial signatures turned in, the additional ten day window, and the enormous amount of resources at the disposal of the campaign, that the initiative will make the ballot. But stranger things have happened in politics. Will Ohio voters approve it? That is completely uncertain at this time. If it does make the ballot it will be joined by another measure that would prevent the initiative, and others that create for-profit-monopolies, from being allowed in Ohio.