OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington elections officials suspect that three paid signature gatherers committed fraud while collecting support for two initiatives.

The secretary of state's office said Wednesday said many of the signatures submitted by the collectors were invalid. The problematic filings were linked to both a Tim Eyman initiative that would extend the time for initiative signature collection and another proposal that would require companies to label genetically modified food.

Election officials said both initiatives are still valid because the remaining signatures were sufficient to get the measures certified.

The secretary of state's office declined to name the signature gatherers but is turning over its findings to the Washington state Patrol for investigation. Secretary of State Kim Wyman says the cases involve the worst apparent initiative fraud anyone can remember.
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