CLEVELAND -- Cleveland voters will decide this November whether to keep or pull the plug on 54 cameras now eyeballing drivers around the city.
A small group called 'See Red Cleveland' has been quietly working over the last four years collecting signatures and has now turned in 13,000-plus to Cleveland City Council and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
"About 90 percent of the people we approached were in agreement with us to ban the cameras," said group member Maryanne Petranek.
The charter change would require a police officer to be partnered and write tickets involving camera usage.
She continues, "They are a scam. They're nothing more than a money grab. There's nothing about safety in regards to those cameras at all ."
The city declined to provide an on-camera spokesperson but maintains the cameras have made streets safer and made law-breaking drivers more responsible.
See Red Cleveland needs a little more than 6,000 valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot. The seemingly low number is because of low voter turnout last fall.
On Friday, the Board of Elections said there more than 6,600 valid signatures, enough to get it on the ballot. Some of the signatures are four years old, but there is no city law against that as long as voters still live at the same address.
The future of cameras in Cleveland and more than a dozen Ohio cities could also hinge on action by state lawmakers. It's been reported enough legislators from both parties support a measure to ban cameras.
And the State Supreme Court is weighing a case involving Toledo's traffic cameras, similar to Cleveland's, that could have statewide impact.
The cameras raised more than $6 million for Cleveland city coffers in 2012.
With one exception, every single time voters nationwide have had a chance to keep or reject cameras, they've chosen to get rid of them.
That one exception? Several years ago in East Cleveland.
A ballot issue involving Maple Heights traffic cameras is also expected to be on the fall ballot.
Follow WKYC's Senior Political Correspondent Tom Beres on Twitter: @TomBeres