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Westerville Walmart Referendum Effort Falls Short By 36 Signatures

A citizen effort to block Walmart from building a new store in Westerville has hit another snag. The Franklin County Board of Elections on Tuesday ruled organizers fell 36 signatures short of the number needed to put a referendum before voters next year. Attorney Don McTigue represents the group of citizens trying to keep Walmart out of the north Columbus suburb. He says today’s ruling is not the end of the referendum effort. "We'll be reviewing the signatures that were rejected by the board. We'll then be able to advise our clients as to what their options are," McTigue says. Elections officials say they received about 2,327 sigantures, but only 1,643 were ruled valid. Supporters needed to gather 1,679 signatures to put a referendum before voters next year. McTigue says activists wanted to gather more signatures to give them a safety net, but they didn't have time.