NORTH SIOUX CITY, SD (KTIV) -- Thursday, Secretary of State Chris Nelson announced folks petitioning to stop the South Dakota smoking ban came up just short of the number they needed to put the issue on the ballot for the 2010 election. Today, those opposing the ban say their fire isn't out yet.
The coalition of bars and gambling businesses say they're 'firing back' and appealing the decision made by the secretary of state. This comes after Secretary Nelson's office said they were 221 votes short.
There were nearly 9,000 signatures thrown out of the 25,000 the coalition turned in. After reviewing the signatures, consultant to the petitioners, Larry Mann, says they're challenging 2,000 signatures that were thrown out because of a wrong date. But, Mann says it was because of a technicality.
"If a court restored those signatures, we would be back to the same number that the secretary of state originally validated under the 5% random sample method," Mann said.
Mann says if those signatures would have counted, they would have 18,500 signatures -- which is over the nearly 17,000 needed to put it to a public vote.
"I really feel that we owe that to the people that signed the petitions to the grassroots that moved the petitions around, to let the people vote on it," said Sherry LaFleur, owner of Beano and Sherry's in North Sioux City.
The paperwork to appeal the decision has to be filled out by Monday. The coalition is hoping by filling out the paperwork, a judge will address the issue. The coalition hopes if a judge does, in fact review the petitions, the state will put off the smoking ban until a judge can review it.