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Income tax signatures questioned

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on July 15, 2010 at 8:50 am |
July 15, 2010 8:51 am

It’s unlikely to keep the income tax measure off the ballot, but elections officials say they’re reviewing apparent fraud in the collection of signatures for Initiative 1098.

Early checks of petitions by the secretary of state’s office revealed “20 bad petition sheets,” Elections Director Nick Handy said in a statement. Elections officials are notifying law enforcement.

The forms were all collected by the same gatherer, and their¬†350 signatures are a fraction of the more than 385,000 signatures I-1098 supporters submitted to put their initiative on the ballot. Handy called it “an isolated problem with one gatherer.” So far, checkers have found a normal error rate overall.

The initiative, which looks like a sure bet for the November ballot, would create an income tax on high earners while lowering property taxes and business taxes.

One opponent has alleged broader fraud by signature gatherers, but  the campaign says any problems were the work of isolated individuals.

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