Petitions to bring casinos to Ohio’s four largest cities could face legal challenges by opponents of the casino effort. Opponents have threatened to file suit alleging that the petition process was tainted by a number of irregularities, such as petition circulators lying to obtain signatures, felons gathering signatures, and signatures submitted from deceased people.
The pro-casino campaign filed more than 850,000 signatures with Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s office on June 25. If at least 402,275 of the signatures are certified as valid, Ohio voters will have the opportunity in November to decide whether to allow full-scale casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. However, even if the pro-casino campaign meets the signature minimum, there are still questions as to whether various signatures were acquired under false pretenses. Currently, prosecutors or sheriffs in at least 17 counties are investigating petition circulators. If the alleged irregularities are found to be true, some of the signatures could be thrown out.