CLEVELAND (Reuters) – A referendum issue which Ohio Democrats hope could help President Barack Obama’s chances of winning the battleground state will appear on the November 2012 ballot.
On Friday, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted certified that enough signatures were collected to put legislation dealing with voting procedures up for approval by voters next November.
The law’s implementation is on hold unless the voters decide to keep it, so it will not be in effect during the 2012 presidential election.
The law passed by the Republican-led Ohio Legislature includes new restrictions on early and absentee voting which opponents said will make voting harder for working and low-income people, who are seen as more likely to vote Democrat. The law would shorten Ohio’s early voting period by two weeks and eliminate all early on-site voting the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before an election.
“These are the three most important days leading up to election day,” said Seth Bringman, spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party. He said many Ohio voters in urban areas will vote early to avoid long lines on election day.
Proponents of the bill say it will make voting consistent throughout all of Ohio’s 88 counties, which now have discretion on when and how to run elections including whether to send out absentee ballots. The new law would prohibit the mailing of unsolicited absentee ballots, a practice which Republicans say unfairly favors urban districts.
The bill would also not require poll workers to inform voters that they were voting at the wrong precinct, causing the vote to be invalid.
The law, passed in June, was delayed during last month’s election while petitions were being gathered. In that election, Democrats won a referendum victory when voters rejected a law that would have limited collective bargaining for public worker unions.
The Ohio voting law is one of a number of Republican-sponsored state bills this year that Democrats said were aimed at reducing Democratic turn-out on election day. Some Ohio lawmakers also had unsuccessfully tried to pass a law requiring that voters show photo identification.
Ohio, after widespread complaints about voting problems in the state during the 2004 presidential election, changed its election laws to make it easier to cast absentee ballots and vote early.
Bringman noted that the current Ohio voting laws that allow early voting in person and by absentee ballot were enacted in 2005 by a Republican legislature and governor, “They were the ones who put these rules in place when they were in power,” Bringman said.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State, 307,358 signatures were collected and turned into the Secretary of State’s office in November. Opponents of the law needed 231,150 signatures, or six percent of the total vote cast for Governor in 2010.
(Writing and reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)
Mochila insert follows.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019