Unless Secretary of State Husted (who still has until Monday, I believe) somehow invalidates the signatures submitted by “We Are Ohio,” it looks like we’re in the petition signature business game.
This morning, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine certified that the that summary language submitted by the “We Are Ohio” campaign is sufficient:
On April 4th, 2011 two petitions were filed with the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State. The proposals submitted were informally titled "Short" and "Long." After reviewing the summaries, Attorney General DeWine issued two separate letters certifying the Short Version Summary and rejecting the Long Version Summary.
"The Office’s explicit statutory duty is to determine whether the submitted summary ‘is a fair and truthful statement of the measure to be referred,’" DeWine stated in his letter certifying the Short Version Summary language. "Without passing upon the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred…I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed referendum concerning Am. Sub. S.B. 5 of the 129th General Assembly."
In rejecting the Long Version Summary language, Attorney General DeWine stated, "The summary, though greatly condensed at 28 pages, is still far too lengthy and detailed to be considered a short and concise summing up of the matter to be referred. For this reason, I am unable to certify the proposed Long Version Summary of the Petition."
So much for the theory espoused by some that DeWine would seek to delay certification of the referendum as long as possible, huh?
[UPDATE:] Secretary of State Jon Husted has certified the signatures for the same “short form” petition that was certified by Attorney General Mike DeWine:
Secretary of State Jon Husted today certified that We Are Ohio, the group seeking a state referendum on Senate Bill 5, has met the initial 1,000-signature requirement on each of the two petitions they filed to qualify for the November 2011 ballot. Petitioners collected 2,835 signatures for the short version of the petition, of which 2,506 were deemed valid, and 2,866 for the long version of the petition, of which 2,517 were deemed valid. The Secretary also approved the full text of the law submitted with the signatures.
The “short form” petition had a success rate of 88% of valid signatures/submitted signatures. That’s actually a remarkably high rate for a petition. With the approval of both the Secretary of State and Ohio Attorney General, all that remains to get SB 5 on the ballot is getting the over 230,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State’s office by the end of June.
[UPDATE II:] The Dispatch says the “We Are Ohio” campaign is claiming that more than 10,000 Ohioans have signed up to circulate the petitions, which results in this math:
231,000 valid signatures needed/10,000 petition circulators= 24 valid signatures per circulator
What are the odds that SB 5 is on the ballot this November? (Pretty damn good.)