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WAS PETITIONER SET TO VOTE IN 3 STATES?

A paid petition circulator whose work is under investigation was simultaneously registered to vote in Oklahoma, Illinois and Utah, a radio station reports.

KTOK radio reported Tuesday that Patsy J. Fisher of Lawton, Okla., was registered in mid-August to vote in all three states where she circulated term-limit petitions.Fisher listed the address of relatives in Peoria when she registered to vote in Illinois last April, the station said. She used her address at the Airport Inn in Salt Lake City when she registered in mid-June in Utah, KTOK said.

Until Aug. 19, she remained registered to vote in Lawton. At that time, her registration was transferred to another state, but the Comanche County Election Board couldn't say which.

KTOK has reported numerous problems on petitions Fisher circulated in Oklahoma's term-limit petition drive. As a result of that drive, Oklahomans voted Tuesday on limiting U.S. senators to 12 years in office and U.S. representatives to six. The measure was overwhelmingly approved.

Fisher, who was paid $1 per name by petition backers, turned in petitions in Oklahoma bearing the names of a 7-year-old Walters boy, a man who had been dead for more than a decade, and Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Hodges.

In Utah, authorities threw out about 7,000 signatures collected by Fisher after election workers found the "signatures" of dead voters and those not registered to vote.

Hodges denied signing the petition. He told KTOK he cannot sign any initiative petitions because if he did, he would have to disqualify himself if the matter ever came before the court.

Hodges said if his name were on the petition, "it is fraud." He called Tuesday for changes in the law to prevent such things.

Hodges said the Legislature should consider banning paid petition circulators like Fisher. "It's my understanding that these circulators get a dollar a signature, and it seems to me that these petitions ought to be circulated by volunteers, not hired hands. I think that would stop a lot of this," Hodges said.

Attorney General Susan Loving has asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate.

Fisher has denied doing anything wrong in either state.