COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A challenger to the state’s pending August election wants it canceled altogether, filing a lawsuit Friday afternoon.
The legal challenge’s complaint document names Ohioians Jeniece Brock, Brent Edwards and Christopher Tavenor alongside the One Person One Vote campaign, with all four challenging the legitimacy of the August election approved by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. The Ohio House on Wednesday voted along party lines to hold the race for a single issue: whether or not to make it harder to amend the state constitution. It had already made its way through the Senate, meaning it then went to LaRose’s desk for signature.
If passed, the measure would require Ohioans to reach a 60% majority, rather than 50% plus one vote, to enact a constitutional amendment. It would also require signatures from all 88 counties in Ohio, rather than 44 as needed currently, to place the initiative on ballots.
The lawsuit’s plaintiffs cite state lawmakers as prohibiting statewide special elections five months prior, as well as LaRose’s own comments that August elections have “embarrassingly low” voter turnout. Their complaint asks for the Supreme Court of Ohio to force LaRose to take the issue off the August ballot and stop county election officials from participating in the race altogether.
“The General Assembly revised Ohio law to allow elections only during November, March, or May and they’ve done nothing since that time to change the law,” said Dennis Willard, spokesperson for One Person One Vote.
After signing the resolution to hold the August election, LaRose defended his decision by saying voters should have the right to choose.
“A supermajority of our legislature has decided to ask Ohio voters an important question about protecting our state constitution — like most other states do,” LaRose wrote. “That’s how democracy works.”
Edwards’ online profiles list him as an Ohio Democratic campaign professional. Brock is listed as the Advocacy Director at the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.
Read the lawsuit’s full complaint document by clicking here.