MOUNT VERNON — With one referendum on the ballot this November, another may be on the way in November 2012.
A group that describes itself as “a coalition of state legislators, voting rights advocates, labor unions, progressive organizations and concerned citizens” is gathering signatures to place a referendum on House Bill 194 on next fall’s ballot. The bill makes several changes in Ohio election law.
The Ohio Democratic Party and labor unions make up the bulk of the coalition. Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is listed as co-chair of the group.
Fair Elections Ohio has until Sept. 29 to submit petitions containing at least 231,154 valid signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. If enough valid signatures are on the petitions, the law will go on hold until next fall. Local boards of elections are operating as if the earlier dates under the old law are still in effect; if the referendum fails to make the ballot, they will then simply wait until the new dates arrive.
For example, according to a memo from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, if the old law is still in effect, absentee voting will begin Oct. 4, but if the issue fails to make the ballot, voting will begin Oct. 18.