Oklahoma advocacy group Green The Vote has admitted to lying about the number of signatures they’ve collected to put a cannabis legalization question before voters. The revelation was made via Facebook video early on Tuesday, and confirmed in a follow-up video by Isaac Caviness, long-time president of Green The Vote.
The group announced last month they had exceeded the requirement with a total of 132,000 signatures (123,725 signatures are required by August 8 for the petition drive to succeed).
In his video, however, Caviness confirmed that the actual total is closer to 78,000 signatures for SQ 797 (aiming to legalize adult-use cannabis) and 72,000 for SQ 796 (which would codify a permanent medical cannabis program into the Oklahoma State Constitution).
“We did not mean this in any kind of a malicious way, and … I should not have told you all these were hard numbers, I should have told you all that these were estimates. … I never meant to mislead you in a way in which this wouldn’t get done.” — Isaac Caviness, in a Facebook video
Caviness admitted that the decision to fudge the numbers was made by himself and former Green The Vote board member Dody Sullivan; the lie was intended to keep petitioner volunteers motivated despite the lower-than-expected numbers, he said.
According to both videos, no other board members were aware of the scheme.
In the first video, Sullivan said she left the group because maintaining the lie was too much for her conscience.
The videos are embedded below in the order in which they were released:
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