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Voting Reform Group Abandons Effort To Put Amendment On Fall Ballot

A bowl of stickers for those taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.
Gene Puskar
Associated Press

An Ohio group that wanted to put voter reforms on the fall ballot has dropped its effort, after losing court battles to make signature collecting easier during the pandemic. 

Getting the over 440,000 valid signatures needed by July 1, in order qualify for the November ballot, is a challenge at any time. But Toni Webb with Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections says it was just too much right now.

“It’s incredibly disappointing, but who would have known to prepare for a global pandemic?" Webb says.

A federal court recently ruled against the group’s request to extend the deadline to July 31. It also would have permitted the group to collect signatures online, something that has never been allowed before.

The group's protracted legal fight made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The state has until Monday to respond to an appeal joined by ballot campaigns to raise the minimum wage and decriminalize marijuana.

The Secure And Fair Elections Amendmentwould have guaranteed 28 days of early voting, same-day registration and voting, and automatic voter registration at Bureau of Motor Vechicle locations.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.