Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has handed a setback to Fair Elections Ohio, a group working to overturn recent changes to the state's election laws.
The election overhaul law, signed on July 1 by John Kasich, Ohio's Republican governor, shortens the state's early voting period and prohibits in-person early voting on Sundays and the weekend before Election Day, among other provisions.
Arguing these measures will suppress voter turnout and create inefficiencies in the electoral process, Fair Elections Ohio began the process for overturning the law in a 2012 referendum. After collecting 1,000 signatures, the group submitted a document to DeWine's office containing a description of the law to be used in the referendum.
DeWine rejected the document on grounds it was not "a fair and truthful statement of the measure to be referred." Among other errors, he pointed to improper use of statutorily defined terms. For example, he said the text refers to "election officials" when it should refer to "board of elections."
To bring the law up for referendum, Fair Elections Ohio now has to collect another 1,000 signatures and submit a revised version of the document to DeWine's office.
During a recent rally in Tampa Bay, Florida, Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke out against a similar election law recently passed in the Sunshine State.