Wash. State Patrol looking into I-1163 signatures

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington State Patrol is investigating a report that some signatures for an initiative seeking to require training and background checks for long-term care workers appear to be fraudulent.

Seattlepi.com reports that the secretary of state's office requested the criminal probe. Officials said the company paid to gather the signatures, PCI Consultants, realized they were bogus and brought them to the attention of authorities, and none of the hundreds of questionable signatures was among the estimated 340,000 submitted in favor of Initiative 1163.

The initiative is backed by the Service Employees International Union. Campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik said the campaign did not pay for or even receive the fake signature, and that it takes seriously the integrity of the signature-gathering process.

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Information from: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, http://www.seattlepi.com/