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Ohio Strip club vote may be alone on ballot; 37,000 signatures Short

COLUMBUS — The filing deadline for statewide issues on the Nov. 6 ballot passed Wednesday without a single proposal offered, leaving an issue that would repeal new restrictions for strip clubs as the only possible vote before all Ohioans.

The strip-club law, which the Legislature approved in May, would require most clubs to close at midnight and prohibit patrons and dancers from touching each other. A coalition of club owners is collecting signatures on petitions to keep the law from taking effect.

The coalition needs 241,366 valid signatures of Ohio voters, or 6 percent of the total that voted for governor last year, to place the issue before voters. The deadline for filing petitions is Sept. 3, the day before the law is to take effect. The group has so far collected about 204,000 signatures, said Sandy Theis, a spokeswoman for the club owners.

The last year with no statewide ballot issue was 2001.

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