Whoa, not so fast there, haters. Organizers of the ballot measure to ban gay marriage in Florida claimed in November that they’d succeeded in raising the necessary signatures to force the issue to a statewide vote. Turns out, maybe they haven’t.
A proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Florida may not make it to voters this year, after organizers — who proclaimed a month ago they had gotten it on the November ballot — found out Monday they haven’t collected enough signatures after all. A counting glitch — which has the state pointing fingers at Miami-Dade County — has resulted in Florida4Marriage.org falling 22,000 voter signatures short of the 611,000 needed to place the amendment on the ballot. The group has a tight deadline — Feb. 1 — to get the signatures to state election officials. A month ago, backers of the amendment declared they had met their goal and began attacking groups that had formed to fight the amendment. On Monday, the leader of the effort said he had little time to figure out what happened, but said he would push volunteers to start gathering petitions again. ”There’s a real temptation in pointing fingers, but we’re interested in getting the job done,” said John Stemberger, an Orlando attorney and chairman of Florida4Marriage.org. “We will immediately jump into action. I’m confident if every petition is counted that is submitted prior to Feb. 1 then we should have no problem.”
It looks like they “accidentally” double-counted the 27,000 signatures from Miami-Dade County. Accidentally.