The state’s Elections Commission dismissed a complaint May 21 alleging that Republican Gov. John Kasich’s re-election campaign played a role in getting a Libertarian candidate bumped from last year’s gubernatorial ballot. Attorneys for Libertarian Charlie Earl argued that Kasich’s campaign and GOP consultant Terry Casey conspired in a successful protest that disqualified Earl from the 2014 governor’s race and that Casey’s resulting legal bills constitute an unreported in-kind contribution to the campaign. They sought a $720,000 fine against Kasich’s team. The elections panel ruled otherwise. Members voted 5-2 to dismiss the complaint, finding that Earl lacked the evidence to show a coordinated effort.
Articles about voting issues in Ohio.
Ohio: Republican Party paid $300,000 in legal bills to keep Libertarian candidate off ballot | Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Ohio Republican Party paid $300,000 to the law firm involved with successfully keeping would-be Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl off last year’s ballot, according to Ohio Elections Commission filings. The payments, detailed by attorneys representing Gov. John Kasich’s re-election campaign and GOP activist Terry Casey, came after Republican Party Chair Matt Borges denied in federal court last year that his party was behind the challenge to Earl’s candidacy. Casey and Kasich’s campaign brought up the payments as evidence that Kasich’s re-election campaign did not collude to disqualify Earl, as the Libertarian alleges in an elections commission complaint.
If lawmakers move forward with a ballot issue to expand eight-year legislative term limits, there will be a fight. That was the message Thursday from U.S. Term Limits, the group that led the effort to pass term limits in Ohio in 1992. Ray Warrick, chairman of the Warren County Republican Party, said he has formed the Eight is Enough Ohio PAC to battle the issue, and Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, said they could craft an alternative ballot issue. “The only legitimate method of dethroning incumbents these days with gerrymandering and campaign-finance regulations is really term limits,” Thompson said.
A new federal lawsuit alleging that Ohio’s voting arrangements disproportionately burden Democratic-leaning voters drew swift criticism from the political battleground state’s Republican elections chief Monday. The top lawyer to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Marc Elias, is among those representing the Ohio Organizing Collaborative and three individuals in the suit brought Friday _ though Elias also represents the state and national Democratic parties and other Democratic clients.
Hillary Clinton’s top campaign lawyer and others are challenging Ohio voting laws enacted by the Republican-dominated legislature and Gov. John Kasich, claiming in a lengthy federal lawsuit the measures were designed to suppress the votes of such traditional Democratic constituencies as blacks, Latinos and the young. The Ohio Organizing Collaborative and three individuals asked for an injunction because otherwise they “and thousands of other residents of Ohio will have their right to vote and/or related rights, such as the right to participate in voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities, wrongfully burdened, abridged and/or denied.”
Democrats, including an attorney for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, sued in federal court on Friday to block laws and orders they claim are designed to throw roadblocks between the voting booth and traditional Democratic constituencies. Among the issues challenged is Ohio’s shortened early voting period, which has already been the subject of a recent settlement under a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters of Ohio, and others that led to the reinstatement of some in-person early voting hours for future elections.
With 2016 approaching, Ohio Republicans are making a new push for a voter ID bill—setting the stage for another battle over voting in the nation’s most pivotal swing state. Legislation introduced last week by conservatives in the statehouse would require that voters show a driver’s license, passport or military ID. They could also get a special state ID card which costs $8.50, or is free for those who make less than the federal poverty line—$11,770 a year. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Andrew Brenner, has offered the usual rationale: the need to stop illegal voting by non-residents, non-citizens or others.
Potential changes in voter registration may be coming soon, which will add more than a million Ohioans to the state’s voter polls. Residents would be registered to vote automatically when seeking driver’s licenses or interacting with other state agencies, under legislation planned in the Ohio House and Senate. The bills also would allow online voter registration and automatically register graduating high school students.
Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election. The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places. Voters would have their identification cards, such as driver’s licenses, scanned and would automatically be given the correct ballot for their precinct. If voters were in the wrong polling place, it would print out directions to their proper polling places.
A group of conservative Ohio House members said Wednesday they will again try to pass a bill to require voters to present photo identification at the polls. The proposed legislation would require Ohio residents to present a driver’s license, state ID card, passport, or military ID to vote, whether the address on the card is current or not. Currently, state voters can use a number of other forms of ID without a photo, including a utility bill or a bank statement. Ohioans who claim a religious exemption, such as the Amish, would be allowed to vote provisionally under the bill, said Rep. Andrew Brenner, a Delaware County Republican who says he’ll introduce the measure in the next few days.