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Ohio Group Lacks Signatures In Internet Cafe Fight

Opponents of an Ohio law that effectively bans storefront sweepstakes parlors have fallen more than 70,000 signatures short of the needed to place a repeal request on the November 2014 ballot. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Monday that 160,008 of the nearly 434,000 signatures submitted by the Committee to Protect Ohio Jobs were valid, well below the more than 231,000 required. The group has 10 days to submit additional signatures. If it succeeds, enforcement of the law would be suspended until next November's vote. In the 14-month interim, so-called Internet cafes could operate in the state. Ohioans Against Illegal Gambling, which is backed by casinos, had urged county elections boards to carefully scrutinize the signatures. The group has claimed that signature gatherers misrepresented the referendum's purpose.