Adult entertainment referendum initiative denied by state

By Amber Ridenour

Ohio’s Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, has issued a statement that there will not be enough valid signatures collected by Vote No On Issue 1 to have a referendum on the ballot for Nov. 6.

Vote No On Issue 1, formerly Citizens for Community Standards, was an organization put together to challenge the new law that was passed by Ohio Legislation in April of this year.

According to referendum procedures, overall petition signatures must be greater than or equal to the total number of votes that the governor had to win his election, which were 241, 366 votes. There must be 44 out of the 88 counties in Ohio that have valid signature that cover three percent of the votes that were cast for that governor in those counties. If the signatures do not meet all of the requirements, there are 10 additional business days granted for more signatures to be collected.

Brunner said in her statement only 15 counties have met all of the requirements after the 10 additional days were granted. The first attempt to have enough signatures seems to have failed so far, even if the exact numbers haven’t been released as of yet.

When the first deadline of Sept. 3 came, Vote No On Issue 1 turned in 382,508 signatures.

“We fell short 116,000 signatures,” said Sandy Theis, spokeswoman for Vote No On Issue 1.

After the additional time, 230,000 signatures were submitted to Brunner.

One of the counties that failed to meet requirements was Wood County. According to the numbers that the Secretary of State had, there were a total of 1,737 signatures between the initial signature gathering and the additional 10 days that were given. Out of those signatures, only 846 were valid.

Theis has said that the information that was given by the Secretary is false. She said that there are 39 counties instead of 15 that meet the requirements.

Patrick Gallaway, the director of communications for Brunner, said that the release from yesterday was a preliminary number from the Board of Elections. They have yet to make a final determination, but the results will be put into a release at the end of they day.

If the law continues, Theis said that there would be a lawsuit issued against Ohio on Constitutional grounds.

“This law is the most restrictive legislation against adult business in America,” she said.

The new law states that there is to be no touching between nude and semi-nude dancers and patrons. Also, any adult-oriented business and entertainment must close at midnight and can open at 6 a.m.

If one fails to keep a six-foot distance from dancers, the maximum fine is $1,000 with up to six months in jail with a first-degree misdemeanor charge.