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Ohio voter rights expansion proposal rejected again

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(The Center Square) – A second attempt to significantly overhaul Ohio’s voter laws by putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot failed.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost again called the proposed amendment to expand early voting and voter registration and stop required voter roll purges misleading.

Yost’s second rejection came after a coalition of supporters – including the Ohio NAACP, Ohio Unity Coalition, Ohio Organizing Collaborative and other groups – gathered 1,000 additional signatures.

The new proposal went to Yost on Jan. 16.

“The title ‘Ohio Voters Bill of Rights’ does not fairly or accurately summarize or describe the actual content of the proposed amendment,” Yost wrote in his rejection letter. “The highly misleading and misrepresentative title of this amendment is sufficient on its own to reject this petition.”

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.

As previously reported by The Center Square, Yost turned away the same plan earlier this month, calling it misleading.

At that time, Secretary of State Frank LaRose called the proposal extreme and radical. He’s a Republican running for the U.S. Senate.

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