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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anti-Taser group meets petition goal

July 21, 2010
Columbia Daily Tribune

People for a Taser-Free Columbia, a group that wants to ban the use of Tasers and other conducted electrical devices, has gathered the required number of signatures for its initiative petition.

“There are a good amount of people that believe we’d be a better city without the use of the conductive electrical devices,” said Mary Hussmann, a volunteer and spokeswoman for the group.

Hussmann said her group began canvassing for signatures in April. In June, the group turned in more than 4,000 signatures, above the minimum 3,667 required to make the ballot.

However, City Clerk Sheela Amin later notified them that they were almost 500 short because many signatures belonged to residents of Boone County, not registered city of Columbia voters.

For the past few weeks, volunteers returned to work, gathered about 900 more signatures. Amin said the amount of valid signatures in that batch can’t be determined because she told the county clerk to stop reviewing them once they had hit the required number needed — about 490 signatures.

An ordinance that would ban the use of conducted electrical devices will now go before the Columbia City Council. If rejected, it would be put on the November ballot.

This page has been revised to reflect the following correction:

SECOND THOUGHTS: Thursday, July 22, 2010

A headline on a story yesterday about People for a Taser-Free Columbia incorrectly said the initiative banning conducted electrical devices would be on the fall ballot. The measure first will go to the Columbia City Council. If rejected by the council, it would be put on the November ballot.

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