Forgery Charges Brought Against Initiative Signature Gatherers

(KCPW News) [AUDIO AFTER BREAK] Two contractors working to gather signatures on statewide ballot initiatives have been charged with forgery.

The Weber County District Attorney’s office filed charges of forgery and violations of petition procedures against two contractors for a company called Gather. Gather is working to collect signatures to get the Utah Medical Cannabis Act and the Direct Primary Election initiatives on the ballot this November.

Ryan Cowley, Weber County Elections Director, said that contract signature-gatherers Emma Riches and Alexander Burke were being paid by the signature, and that the packets they turned in had “irregularities” when compared with voter signatures on file.

Court documents say Burke and Riches forged altogether nearly 500 signatures and were paid more than $2,000 for the signatures they collected.

Cowley says that the charges don’t implicate the sponsors of the initiatives in question.

Six statewide initiatives are working to get on the ballot. Each needs to get 113,143 signatures by April 15 to get on the November ballot.

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