Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Thursday rejected a Democratic-backed petition for a statewide referendum on a Voters Bill of Rights, saying proponents’ summary language was misleading. Proponents of the proposed constitutional amendment, which include the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, say they plan to move quickly to submit new summary language along with another 1,000 signatures as a first step toward putting the measure on the November ballot. In a release, DeWine said the summary language, which would describe the proposed amendment to voters, ran afoul of federal law in two places.
One part of the summary said Ohio voters would be able to verify their identity using, among other things, a current college ID. But DeWine said federal law doesn’t allow some first-time voters to use such identification.
DeWine also took issue with a part of the summary saying voters who fail to vote for four years have to re-register to vote, saying it conflicts with a 1993 federal law.
The Voters Bill of Rights would, among other things, lock in the current 35-day early-voting period, promote online voter registration, and effectively block lawmakers from passing stricter voter ID laws.