Elections officials in Inyo County said Monday that at least 70% of the signatures submitted to block a California law banning the sale of flavored tobacco are invalid, with dozens of voters saying they never signed the petition.
Kammie Foote, the county’s registrar of voters, said she has submitted the findings of her staff’s investigation to the Inyo County district attorney’s office. She said that in some cases, the signatures were not even close to matching those on file with her office. In one case, the name of a prominent local elected official appeared on a petition and looked distinctly different from the signature that appears on a variety of government documents.
“We’re confident that these are not valid signatures,” Foote said.
Whether the problems reported in Inyo County, a rural community with about 11,000 registered voters, are an anomaly is unclear. State elections officials said Monday this is the first such report regarding the effort to qualify a ballot measure to block the tobacco law signed in August by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
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