Ballot Issue Access Ruling: Analysis

The unprecedented ruling (see above story) finds unconstitutional many decades of direct democracy in Ohio governing the time, manner, process, and regulatory requirements around local and statewide ballot measures. Of significant concern are new abilities for out of state interest groups and petition gathers to gather signatures theoretically from Ohio electors without the usual and fulsome verification process that the Secretary of State and county boards of elections go through to ensure the required number of Ohio electors actually sign a petition to secure its place on the November 2020 ballot.

Initial comments from the Ohio Attorney General and Ohio Secretary of State indicate the state will appeal. The OMA has long fought against efforts to erode the process and validity of ballot security and statewide petition methods to ensure only those measures which truly and lawfully should qualify make it to a vote of the people.

The OMA will continue to closely monitor and update the members on this truly historic and unprecedented decision from the federal court. Read this memo from OMA General Counsel Chris Slagle. Again, we’ll fully cover this topic at the upcoming OMA Government Affairs Committee on June 3. 5/21/2020