Home General Ohio Senate Passes Bill Designed to Give Ohio a Constitutional Ballot Access Law for Minor Parties

Ohio Senate Passes Bill Designed to Give Ohio a Constitutional Ballot Access Law for Minor Parties

Published on June 24, 2011, by in General.

On June 23, the Ohio Senate passed HB 194, the Secretary of State’s omnibus election law bill. As mentioned earlier, it moves the primary in presidential years from March to May, and it moves the petition deadline for new party petitions from 120 days before the primary to 90 days before the primary. Although this is obviously better than having a deadline of November of the year before the election, it still gives Ohio an unconstitutionally early petition deadline of early February.

The bill is not entirely through the legislature. The Senate amended some unrelated aspects, and so it must go back to the House for concurrence. That will happen on June 27 at the earliest.

Assuming the bill is signed into law in the next two weeks, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted will probably rule that the new law is valid, and that therefore the four minor parties that were on the ballot in 2008 and 2010 (Constitution, Green, Libertarian, and Socialist) are no longer ballot-qualified. This is not certain, however. A new lawsuit is extremely likely; the new lawsuit will argue that the new law is just as unconstitutional as the old law.

8 Responses

  1. hoshie

    A quick question: I read here on BAN a few years that Ohio’s ballot access laws had been thrown out. Does this bill rewrite the laws completely? Thanks.

  2. D. Frank Robinson

    All petitioning requirements for access to the ballot are unconstitutional and irrational. How would you like to be forced to circulate a petition and collect signatures in order to vote? How about a petition to be allowed to cast a write-in vote? A write-in vote is a nomination AND vote for a candidate at the same time. The right to vote entails the right to self-nomination.
    Abolish all ballot access laws for candidates and ‘parties.’ Make write-in voting universal. Then we can move on to getting honest counting of ballots.

  3. Richard Winger

    #2, the only change between the law held unconstitutional, and the new law, is that the petition deadline is now 90 days before the primary instead of 120 days before the primary (plus, the primary in presidential years will now be in May instead of March).

    Various versions of bills in the 2011 Ohio legislature did propose an August (of the election year) petition deadline for parties that only want to be on for President; and also proposed cutting the number of signatures in half. But those ideas were dropped.

  4. Demo Rep

    Brown v. Bd of Ed 1954

    Separate is NOT equal.

    NOT brought up due to ALL of the MORONS in Ohio in Williams v. Rhodes 1968.

    >>> EQUAL ballot access laws for ALL candidates for the same office in the same area.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

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