The group of African-American leaders pushing the inclusion of a Voters Bill of Rights in the Ohio Constitution has revised its amendment summary and submitted new signatures after Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected their initial attempt to get on the ballot. The Voters Bill of Rights would add items to the constitution that are controversial among some Republicans, such as preserving a 35-day early voting period, specifiying extended hours for early voting, allowing a voter to cast a provisional ballot anywhere in the correct county and moving toward online voter registration. Supporters say their effort is a reaction to several new laws that may make voting more difficult for some – in exchange for added security, fairness and efficiency, Republicans say.
The group had filed its initial 1,000-plus signatures to certify its effort, but DeWine last month declined certification. The summary of the amendment contained at least two misrepresentations of instances where the Ohio Constitution is pre-empted by federal law, DeWine said.
So on Friday, the group revised the summary and filed 2,100 new signatures. The summary now describes the federal law in both instances flagged by DeWine. The Voters Bill of Rights is not intended to supersede or change federal law, said elections law attorney Don McTigue, who is working on the proposed amendment. DeWine now has two weeks to review the revised summary.