Fair Elections Ohio Sues Jon Husted Over House Bill 194

Voters mark their ballots(Photo: WOSU archive)
Voters mark their ballots(Photo: WOSU archive)

A group that hoped to put before voters a repeal of a controversial package of election law changes is suing Secretary of State Jon Husted for not allowing that repeal to go to the ballot

The Democratic group Fair Elections Ohio had gathered signatures to put a repeal of House Bill 194 on the ballot. Those changes included the elimination of the last three days of early voting on the weekend before the election. At last week’s Ballot Board meeting, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said there was no reason for the repeal to go to voters because lawmakers had repealed it themselves with a new law that took effect that day.

“Since the law has been repealed, and there is no longer – it is no longer necessary for the issue to be considered by this board,” Husted says.

That’s not how the group that gathered the signatures sees is. Husted’s Democratic predecessor Jennifer Brunner is the co-chair of Fair Elections Ohio and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Husted. She says Husted’s dismissal of the repeal basically put the disputed law into effect.

“He cut off weekend voting and in effect enacted portions of House Bill 194 after he denied the people of Ohio the ability to take that issue to the ballot,” Brunner says.

Brunner says the only people who are allowed to remove the repeal from the ballot are the members of the committee that gathered the signatures to put it there.

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