Notary Public Embarrassment
As someone personally involved the local “Tobacco Wars” (I’m communications director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota), I am watching with some interest the unfolding drama in neighboring South Dakota that has had as many twists and turns as the Franken-Coleman race. In February, the SD Legislature passed a statewide smoking ban, and Gov. Rounds signed it. The law was supposed to take effect at July 1, 2009. But wait! A group oppossed to the ban begin getting signatures to delay the law and put it on the 2010 ballot as a public referendum. If they could get 16,776 valid signatures on a petition by June 29, the question would go to the voters next year. They submitted more than 25,000 names, but Secretary of State Chris Nelson ruled many of the signatures invaild, and now the opponents are 221 signatures short. How did this happen? Blame the notary public — in fact, no fewer than 29 different notary publics made errors on the petitions. The case is now going to court.