Ohio Secretary of State warns ResponsibleOhio about fraud - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Ohio Secretary of State warns ResponsibleOhio about fraud

(Toledo News Now) - A battle is brewing between the Ohio Secretary of State's office and one of the groups pushing for marijuana legalization. 

As we investigated last month, ResponsibleOhio is one of two groups that are trying to gather the 305,591 valid signatures needed to get on the November ballot. ResponsibleOhio wants voters to have a chance to legalize medical and recreational marijuana.

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted said on Wednesday that the organization coordinating its signature and registration drives, The Strategy Network, may be responsible for fraud. 

“As the state's chief elections officer, I have a duty to work with our local boards of elections to ensure fairness at the ballot box and a primary component of that responsibility is to maintain clean voter rolls and establish safeguards against fraud,” Husted said.“ResponsibleOhio's suspicious voter registration efforts seem to be simply another step in a growing trend of irresponsible behavior.”

Husted said several irregularities have been reported to his office, including registrants with non-existent addresses, signatures
that are illegible or don't match the signature on file for the applicant in the voter's existing registration record, multiple applications submitted on the same day for a single applicant at different addresses and applicants who won't turn 18 before the next General Election and are ineligible to register.
 
Husted also said multiple registration forms appeared to be completed in the same handwriting by a single person.

"ResponsibleOhio's suspicious voter registration efforts seem to be simply another step in a growing trend of irresponsible behavior,” he said. 

He urged boards of election to carefully analyze new voter registrations that are submitted by The Strategy Network and he warned ResponsibleOhio to take appropriate action to make sure the registration and signature collection efforts are in line with state law.

ResponsibleOhio's Executive Director Ian James issued a statement to us in response, saying: "We have fully complied with Ohio election laws, and we have gone above and beyond current requirements by scanning the voter registrations and data entering the information into a database for follow up and further verification." 

He also said ResponsibleOhio met with Secretary Husted's office earlier this year and there seemed to be no problems with their processes and procedures.
 
The statement also said politicians don't want Ohio voters to vote to legalize medical and personal use marijuana for adults over 21, but Ohio voters overwhelmingly want to vote for it.

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