Internet cafe referendum
2:17 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Will internet cafe issue make the ballot?

The gamble that internet cafe backers have taken to try to stop a law effectively banning those establishments may not pay off. The supporters of those cafes, also called sweepstakes parlors, launched a petition drive to stop the law and put it before voters. But early estimates show that they may not have the 231,000 signatures they need to get the law onto next year’s ballot. Secretary of State Jon Husted said his office will know next week. And Husted told Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler if the backers are short, they’d have 10 days to gather more signatures, which would then be sent back to the boards of elections for verification.

"They will review the signatures, validate the signatures, and then we'll total them up and determine whether or not they have a sufficient number to qualify it for referendum," said Husted.  "If they do not, then the law will go into effect (immediately)."

The Committee to Protect Ohio Jobs turned in nearly 434,000 signatures earlier this month. But the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that a spot check of boards of elections in Ohio’s biggest counties shows only about 40 percent of the signatures are turning out to be valid.