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City Waiting For Written Request for Recount From Keep Casper Smoke Free

Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

Officials with Keep Casper Smoke Free say they’ll likely ask for a recount of smoking ban referendum signatures after being told on Wednesday they fell short of their 2,454-signature target.

The group was aiming to trigger a special election in August on changes to the city’s smoking ban after city councilors exempted taverns, lounges, bars, private clubs and healthcare facilities from smoke-free regulations.

City clerk V.H. McDonald says the city will not take action until a written request is received.

“They brought that up, and I said, ‘You know? That’s an interesting question. We don’t know what the provisions of that are, or if there are any,’” McDonald said. “I asked them that, if they’re going to do that, to send us a written request, then we’ll investigate what we can do or what provisions there are.”

Keep Casper Smoke Free officials say they were able to gather roughly 3,000 signatures between June 28 and July 17. City officials, however, determined that only 2,393 of those signatures were valid.

McDonald says the city followed strict criteria during its initial count.

“The signatures needed to match the name and address as listed on the voter registration list we received from the county,” McDonald said. “There were people that don’t live in the community and different names that we couldn’t match up.”

Kimberly Holloway with Keep Casper Smoke Free says her group will target the city council seats of Paul Bertoglio and Keith Goodenough during elections next year if the group falls short of its 2,454-signature target again. Bertoglio and Goodenough voted in favor of the changes.

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