New Voter Petition Rules Cause Legislative Stir.

A legislative committee approved new rules governing how individuals and groups register new voters. The new guidelines were written by Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and grew out of a bill Governor Taft signed in January overhauling Ohio election law. Critics are concerned that new rules require paid circulators to return signed registration cards within to either county boards of elections or the secretary of state’s office, rather than to the group paying them.

Opponents testified at Monday’s committee hearing that passing the rules would inhibit the organization of voter registration drives. State Senator Jeff Jacobson argued that the rules, which do not apply to unpaid volunteers, will help prevent voter registration fraud.

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