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Yost sees no need to expedite voter rights lawsuit

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(The Center Square) – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost does not believe a lawsuit challenging how he ruled on a potential ballot issue that would expand voting rights deserves an expedited trial.

Yost’s recent filing related to the suit dealt only with the time element and not about any legal challenges after he rejected a proposed constitutional amendment for an Ohio Voters Bill of Rights.

Yost welcomed the suit, saying “the voters deserve a no-spin zone when asked to sign a petition, and I aim to give it to them.”

As previously reported by The Center Square, Yost rejected the proposed amendment for a second time in late January. He called the title, “Ohio Voters Bill of Rights,” highly misleading and misrepresentative.

In his letter to supporters, Yost said ballot language should be neutral.

Supports, in their suit, say Yost went beyond his authority.

Organizers have until July to get ballot language settled and gather more than 400,000 signatures for the plan to appear before voters in the November.

Yost’s role in the process is to determine if a summary of a proposal is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law or constitutional amendment.

If eventually approved by Yost, the proposal would go to the Ohio Ballot Board to determine if it addresses only one issue. If approved, more signatures must be gathered before it could eventually make it to the ballot.

The proposed amendment would expand voting rights and registration, establishing the right to vote as a fundamental right in the Ohio Constitution. It would also bar the state from interfering with a legal Ohio voter to vote.

Also, it calls for automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration and an end to automatic roll purges after four years of no voting.

It would also allow voters to sign a declaration instead of presenting an ID to vote and create no-excuse absentee voting.

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