Summary language rejected for amendment that would change election laws

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office on Friday rejected the summary language for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would make changes to Ohio’s election laws.

On Jan. 22, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled “The Secure and Fair Elections Amendment,” from the attorney representing the petitioning committee. The attorney general’s role is to determine whether the petition summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed amendment.

The summary was rejected for two reasons:

  • The summary of the proposed constitutional amendment is longer than the proposed amendment itself.
  • The summary includes a paragraph of text that is not included in the proposed amendment.

“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the proposal,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in the letter rejecting the petition.

Earlier this week the NAACP Ohio Conference endorsed the measure which would have automatically registered Ohioans to vote when conducting business at state Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices, and provided that early voting locations would have to be open on the two weekends prior to Election Day. That would allow eligible voters to register and vote on the same day.

The requirement that voters be registered during BMV trips, unless they opt out, is also part of pending House and Senate legislation, according to the Associated Press.

Other elements of the proposal would have put guarantees in writing that military service members and overseas citizens receive their ballots on time and that voters with disabilities have equal access to the polls.

The full text of the letter to petitioners and the petition can be found at

A portion of the information provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.