Columbus — Ohio's supreme court gave Republican Attorney General Dave Yost until Monday to reply to a coalition of civil rights organizations' legal claims contesting his rejection of a voter protection package they want on November's ballot. The Ohio Supreme Court deadline was Friday.
In a Jan. 25 ruling, Yost found the proposed constitutional amendment's title, “Ohio Voters Bill of Rights,” “highly misleading and misrepresentative” of its substance
He issued the ruling while recognizing that his staff had certified similar language. A Nursing Facility Patients' Bill of Rights and an Ohio Voters Bill of Rights were certified in 2021 and 2014.
The NAACP Ohio branch, A. Philip Randolph Institute, and Ohio Organizing Collaborative sued Thursday to support the amendment.
The petitioners want judges to order Yost to certify and send their petition to the state Ballot Board, arguing that he had no jurisdiction to reject it solely on its title.
Yost denied approval citing “recent authority from the Ohio Supreme Court” allowing him to assess petition headers and text summaries. He cited the high court's ruling last year on municipal drag ban petition titles.
Last year, Ohio passed a number of election law reforms, including stricter photo ID requirements and shorter ballot return and cure deadlines.
The Ohio Voters Bill of Rights would guarantee safe and secure voting for all Ohioans and require automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and expanded early voting choices and locations.
STAY TURNED FOR DEVELOPMENT