(The Center Square) – State Attorney General Dave Yost turned away a plan to allow voters to overhaul Ohio’s election rules, saying a petition for a constitutional amendment is misleading.
The proposed amendment, “Secure and Fair Elections,” can be submitted again after gathering 1,000 signatures. The Ohio NAACP, Ohio Unity Coalition, Ohio Organizing Collaborative and other groups directed the effort.
“We identified omissions and misstatements that, as a whole, would mislead a potential signer as to the actual scope and effect of the proposed amendment,” Yost said in his rejection letter.
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 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 that happen 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, Secretary of State Frank LaRose called the proposal extreme and radical. He’s a Republican running for the U.S. Senate.
“I predicted months ago that radical interests are preparing to jam their extreme agendas into our state constitution because they can’t get them passed by the people’s representatives in the Statehouse,” LaRose said. “That effort is well underway. This is a political Trojan horse designed to make elections easier to steal, and they’re dishonestly doing it under the name of security and fairness. Pay attention, Ohioans.”
LaRose’s comments stem from voters overwhelming rejection in an August special election of a Republican-pushed amendment that would have required 60% approval for amendment passage.