Ohioans pushing to enshrine state voting laws into the Ohio Constitution moved one step closer to putting the issue on the November ballot. Attorney General Mike DeWine certified on Monday petition language to add a Voters Bill of Rights to the Ohio Constitution. DeWine rejected the initial language in February because two of the rights conflicted with federal election law. “Without passing upon the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred,…I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment,” DeWine stated in a letter to the petitioners. The Ohio Ballot Board will meet 9 a.m. Thursday in the Finan Finance Room of the Statehouse to determine whether the proposed amendment contains more than one amendment.
Amendment supporters will then have to collect roughly 385,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters by July for the amendment to appear on the November ballot. If the proposal is determined to be more than one amendment, the group would have to resubmit petition summaries to DeWine and collect signatures or each amendment.
Democratic Reps. Vernon Sykes of Akron and Alicia Reece of Cincinnati are leading the effort and said the constitutional amendment seeks to end partisan bickering over voting laws.
“When we have the back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, it’s time now for the people to have a say and they’ll get that opportunity,” Reece said.