The secretary of state has discovered what officials believe are fraudulent Referendum 74 petition sheets — with nearly 1,000 signatures on them — among a record number of signatures submitted by the campaign seeking to undo gay marriage in Washington state.
The 48 disputed petitions were all linked by a single paid signature gatherer working on behalf of the Preserve Marriage Washington campaign.
Preserve Marriage and its national partner, the National Organization for Marriage, turned in 247,331 signatures on more than 17,000 petition sheets to the Elections Division this past Wednesday, hoping to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
It was the highest number of signatures for a referendum in the state and represents twice the minimum of 120,577 names needed.
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