Supporters of ballot initiatives in Massachusetts face deadline for collecting signatures

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BOSTON — A key deadline has passed for sponsors of proposed ballot questions in Massachusetts.

The initiative petitions need the valid signatures of at least 64,750 registered voters. Those signatures were required to be turned in to city and town clerks by Wednesday.

It will take a couple of more weeks for all signatures to be counted and certified.

Several groups are confident they've gathered more than enough signatures to qualify, including backers of a proposal to allow for the recreational use of marijuana.

Organizers of a petition that would prevent farm animals from being kept in overly restrictive cages also said they exceeded signature goals, as did supporters of two education-related questions. One allows for an increase in charter schools and another would remove Massachusetts from requirements adhering to Common Core curriculum standards.

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