It's taking longer than city officials expected to verify signatures on a petition drive that seeks to overturn Casper's public indoor smoking ban.

Administrative Services Director for the city, V.H. McDonald, says they were overly optimistic.

"It's a little slower than I thought. We were shooting for Friday and trying to be ambitious so that people wouldn't have to wait long. And we're getting through the process. I think we're probably 60 or 70 percent into it if you want to put it on a percent basis."

The city services department has the responsibility of checking signatures against voter registration lists in order to verify eligibility.

The group, "Free Casper", collected the petition signatures calling for a ballot referendum of the new city ordinance that makes indoor smoking in public places illegal.

To make the ballot, about 1900 of the 3100 signatures gathered must be verified as coming from voters registered in the city of Casper.