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.
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.