Modern and I both wrote posts this week about the health care repeal amendment that the Tea Party has been trying to get on the ballot for over a year now.

A few months ago Republicans decided to co-opt the movement hoping that a Tea Party-supported amendment might bring out pro-SB5 voters in the fall.

After getting some much needed help from the Ohio Republican Party – most likely in the form of paid signature gatherers- the The Ohio Project (and the ORP) have finally announced they have gathered the exact number of signatures needed by law to get the amendment on the ballot.

385,245 signatures.

The problem, of course, is that many of these signatures are going to be deemed invalid.

It’s difficult to know exactly how many, but we can make some assumptions.

Motivated, volunteer-driven signature gathering efforts typically produce more valid signatures than paid circulators. But that assumes the volunteers are well trained and well organized.

The Tea Party folks certainly are motivated, but centralized coordination is not one of their strong points. And training seems to be pretty much non-existent. Anyone can go to their website, watch a couple of YouTube videos (if they want), and download a petition.

Paid GOP signature gatherers will further push that number down, and the fact that there is likely limited coordination between the new paid collectors and the old volunteers means that they are going to be covering the same territory and will be producing more duplicates.

And as Brian pointed out, it is very likely people have accidentally signed the petition more than once forgetting that they’ve signed it a year ago.

On top of that, we’re hearing about some serious fraud associated with the collection effort. We’ve heard, for example, that a petition was left out on the desk at a tanning salon with a sign that read “to overturn the tax on tanning sign this petition.”

This breaks so many rules, just for starters signatures have to be witnessed and collectors can’t deceive about what the petition does.

Fraud, poor training, lack of coordination. These guys will be lucky if 50% of their signatures are valid.

385,245 valid signatures are what they need.

Exactly 385,245 signatures are what they have. But when you take out the invalid ones, they likely have fewer than 200K.

It took them a year to get this many signatures. And they need nearly double to ensure they have enough valid ones.

With only two weeks left to go until the deadline (July 6), I guarantee you will not be seeing a health care repeal amendment on the ballot this fall.

  • Anonymous

    Well, they claim they are aiming for 435,000.  And that won’t be enough either. Their efforts as I’ve witnessed them have been ramshackle and deceptive. A lot of people have been instinctively suspicious because of their lack of clarity and refused to sign. (They have been telling people it’s to give Ohioans “health care freedom” in heavily liberal communities where “repealing Obamacare” would likely get the petition flung back in their faces). Actually, I am kind of glad they decided to dump resources into this. They’re just wasting them  — kind of like John Kasich unfortunately is wasting our tax money.

  • Ann V.

    They were out at the Memorial Day Parade in Worthington while I was out with my SB5 repeal petition. I don’t know how successful they were, but I sure hated the idea that people might confuse me with them.

  • Modern Esquire

    Back in April, they claimed they were shooting for 500,000…. just sayin’.

  • Anonymous

    Downsizing expectations, eh? Hopefully that direction will continue.

  • They will also have issues with a lot of older signatures now being invalid because people have moved and changed addresses which won’t match the address they signed on their petition. Address mis-matches are by far the most common issues.

  • Greg Soper

    It was a symbolic measure, voters cannot overturn a Federal Law. Only the Supreme Court, an Act of Congress or an Amendment to the US Constitution

  • This is one of the finest group of people I’ve had the honor to work with.  The Volunteers are motivated and highly trained. One of the neat aspects of this group, They brought themselves up from nothing just 18 months ago, They built their own infrastructure, put together their own training materials, web site, communications network, organizational structure, all of it, with everyday ordinary people.

    I’ve  performed  internal and external audits of signature quality, and  every audit has returned a validity rate that has paid circulator companies looking at how we’re able to achieve this.

    Its simple, The Volunteers know what accuracy means, They’re careful to ensure that anyone who signs  their name on a packet, is correct, legible, and that they meet the requirements as set forth in the Ohio Revised code.

    On July 6th The Ohio project will be submitting well over the 385,000 signatures required. If you ask how many,  we’ll make that announcement when we have the receipt in our hand on July 6th

    Once the Secretary of State certifies that the Healthcare Freedom Amendment is on Novembers Ballot.  All Ohioans will then be given and opportunity to make a decision for themselves;

    Do I want the freedom to choose?

    Do I want to make my own healthcare choices, or do I want a government agency to make my healthcare choices for me.

    That’s the question each Ohioan will need to answer  for themselves come November.

    John McAvoy

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