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News Summary

Backers of limited smoking ban miss signature mark again

Publication Date: 9/20/2006
  • Author:Associated Press
  • Publication:Akron Beacon Journal

Backers of a proposal to ban smoking in most indoor public places need more valid signatures for a spot on the Nov. 7 ballot, election officials said.

A letter sent Tuesday by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's office notified SmokeFreeOhio that the group has 10 days to collect 23,270 signatures needed to satisfy an appeals court ruling earlier this month invalidating some petitions.

SmokeFreeOhio needs a total of 97,870 signatures, or 3 percent of the last's governor's race.

SmokeFreeOhio is competing against a group called Smoke Less Ohio that proposes a less restrictive smoking ban in most businesses but would exempt bars, bowling alleys and fraternal halls and allow restaurants to have smoking sections.

The group supporting less restrictions on smoking also is collecting more signatures. Blackwell's office told Smoke Less Ohio on Sept. 11 that it had 10 days to collect 49,678 signatures it was short of the required 322,899.

Smoke Less Ohio needs more signatures than the competing group because Smoke Less Ohio is seeking a constitutional amendment to be placed directly before voters.