Supporters of a “Voters Bill of Rights” constitutional amendment won’t attempt to put the issue on the ballot this November but plan to continue collecting signatures for a future November ballot. Amendment supporters had to collect roughly 385,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters by July 2 for the amendment to appear on the November ballot. The group has been collecting signatures since March, but were more than 200,000 signatures short. State Rep. Alicia Reece, a Cincinnati Democrat leading the group, said the all-volunteer effort has collected about 100,000 signatures in less than 90 days on a “shoestring budget.” Signatures that have been collected will still count toward the group’s final total.
The coalition behind the effort plans to open a state office, hold a statewide conference on voting rights and build support among state and national groups. The push has been named the Freedom Summer Initiative, after a 1964 effort to register African-American voters ended in violence and the death of three civil rights activists.
The “Voters Bill of Rights” would enshrine in the Ohio Constitution several voting procedures including early voting on weekends and online voter registration.