A referendum on changes to the city of Casper’s public indoor smoking ban will not happen.

City clerk V.H. McDonald says city officials validated 2,393 signatures from petitions issued by Keep Casper Smoke Free. 2,465 valid signatures were needed to force a special election next month.

Keep Casper Smoke Free co-chairperson Katrina Lorenzen says she’s saddened by the final tally.

“The majority of the people we talked to were excited to sign it – they were feeling really excited and grateful that we were doing this,” Lorenzen said. “To have that close of a margin, it hurts.”

Lorenzen says the group is trying to decide its next course of action. She says the group may ask the city for a recount.

“We’ll have a meeting and discuss out next steps,” Lorenzen said. “With that little of a margin, I’d like to see a recount.”

A Keep Casper Smoke Free official said roughly 3,000 signatures were gathered when the group submitted its petitions to the city on July 17.

“We felt pretty good with enough margin going in,” Lorenzen said.

The amended smoking ban, which took effect June 28, permits smoking in taverns, lounges, bars and private clubs within Casper. It still disallows smoking within Casper-based restaurants.

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