Supporters of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act need 86,105 valid voter signatures on petitions to qualify for the November ballot. But while they submitted over 160,000 signatures in January, the Secretary of State's Office nixed so many that backers fell 2,407 signatures shy. Tomorrow, though, Regulaters hope to take care of that problem. They plan to turn in over (update) 12,000 new signatures -- more than enough, they believe, to push the measure over the top.
The deadline for curing the Secretary of State's so-called Statement of Insufficiency is February 21. However, Regulate proponent Mason Tvert says the campaign saw no reason to wait, given the five-figure signature sum it's collected over the past week or so. And Tvert believes many of the previously rejected signatures might ultimately prove to be valid, too.
"We haven't really begun looking closely at them," he notes. "But we've gone over them briefly, and we saw there were a number of them rejected simply because voters had not updated their registration and used their new address instead of their old address."
Tvert cites a Pew Center report released this week asserting that one in eight voting registrations nationwide is inaccurate, often for technical reasons of the sort that popped up among the initial Regulate signatures. He adds that some signatures were disqualified "because of notary problems -- becomes notaries couldn't complete the form."
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Whatever the case, Tvert believes a five-figure gusher of signatures should remove any doubts about Regulate being put before voters in November -- and while he admits the delay caused by the shortfall "has certainly been a distraction," he stresses that "we're moving forward with the campaign as we had planned, because we have been confident from the beginning that there are more than enough Coloradans out there who believe it's time to end prohibition and begin regulating marijuana like alcohol."
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Drug task force commander out of touch on marijuana regulation, activist says."