The following statement was issued this afternoon by Greg Moore, Director of Fair Elections Ohio on behalf of the Fair Elections Ohio Committee and the hundreds of thousands of voters from across the state of Ohio who supported the repeal of HB 194. The attached complaint was filed this morning in Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio.
"With the public controversy on early voting based on the recent action of the Ohio Secretary of State, along with his refusal to submit HB 194 for consideration by the Ohio Ballot Board last week, an untenable situation has been created."
The Secretary's weekend bans on voting that were the practical result of HB 194's shorter absentee and in-person voting period that were stopped by the referendum were, in effect, reenacted in the Secretary's recent actions to constrict early in-person voting hours to exclude weekends. (HB 194 would have stopped in person early voting on the weekends of October 6-7 and 13-14 and on Sundays all day and Saturdays after 12:00 noon, as well as the last 3 days before the election).
Refusing, as Secretary Husted did to put the issue on the ballot, despite clear state constitutional requirements to do so, is a federal constitutional violation of due process and the first amendment. On the same day, Secretary Husted reinstituted parts of HB 194 by banning weekend voting by directive power that carries the force of state law.
We wish to express our thanks again to the hundreds of thousands of citizens throughout the state of Ohio who signed our petitions last year and who have continued to stand with us in our efforts this year to ensure that all attempts to suppress the vote of Ohio citizens are defeated. Today's filing is just one more development in our continuing drive to ensure our voices and those of thousands of Ohioans are heard on the state's voting rules and in voting on and before Election Day."
Copies of the filings are available here: