Following is some background on the Tobacco Petition to overturn the California Ban on the sale of flavored tobacco product. Also included is today’s press release from the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters on the problem with possible fraudulent signatures:
The California ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products is set to go in effect on Jan. 1. There is a group heavily funded by the tobacco industry that is trying to overturn the ban through the initiative process.
The California Coalition for Fairness said it submitted more than 1 million signatures from registered voters on Nov. 24 in their bid to get a veto referendum to overturn the legislation, California SB 793, on the November 2022 ballot. The petition needs 623,212 signatures to make it onto the ballot. Those signatures are being authenticated against county election records across the state.
If the Secretary of State’s office determines there is a sufficient number of signatures to qualify the referendum, implementation of the law will be suspended pending the 2022 vote, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Following is the press release from the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters:
Kammi Foote, the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters, would like to inform the public that it has received a statewide petition with a high level of Inyo County residents’ signatures (at least 186 so far) which do not match county records. The petition (later confirmed to be the Tobacco petition to prevent the state from banning flavored cigarettes on Jan. 1, 2020) is being referred to the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office. Anyone contacted in the course of an investigation is strongly encouraged to fully cooperate with investigators.
The integrity of this basic constitutional right for citizens to petition government is taken very seriously by the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters Office. Every petition signature is reviewed for authenticity against the Inyo County voter database of signatures, just as is every election ballot envelope signature.
This is not the first time the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters Office has identified fraudulent signatures. Previous offenders have been sentenced with jail time and probation.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation if you are contacted. Please contact the Inyo County Clerk/Recorder & Registrar of Voters office at 760-878-0224 with questions.