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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Board of Elections is more than halfway through verifying the thousands of signatures turned in on a petition aimed at blocking taxpayer funding of a ballpark in Wilmington.

The Board of Elections says as of late this morning, it has gone through 175 of the 255 pages of signatures submitted. Of the 2,447 signatures looked at so far, 1,880 have been verified.

Organizers of the petition drive said they submitted about 4,000 signatures. They need more than 2,900 verified signatures from Wilmington residents to make their petition a citizen-submitted ordinance. If that happens, Wilmington City Council must either adopt it as an ordinance or put it up for a public vote.

Critics say the language on the petition is too vague, and puts at risk other professional sports teams that use city-owned stadiums. The organizers of the petition say that’s not true. They say they made sure it would not affect established teams.

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