COLUMBUS – Today the ACLU of Ohio filed an amicus brief on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio to the Ohio Supreme Court in One Person One Vote v. Ohio Ballot Board, a case challenging the language adopted for Issue 1, which is misleadingly selective, confusing, out-of-context, and even outright false.
On May 18, the Ohio ballot board adopted “a misleading, prejudicial ballot title and inaccurate, incomplete ballot language that improperly favors the Amendment in flagrant violation of Ohio's Constitution and laws, and this Court’s jurisprudence.”
“Issue 1’s distorted language is a travesty of democracy. Because the manipulation of ballot language can mislead voters and impact the outcome of an election, the Ohio Constitution anticipates and guards against such abuse. The Ohio Supreme Court must strike this deceptive and unconstitutional language,” noted Amy Gilbert, Staff Attorney of the ACLU of Ohio.
“The Supreme Court of Ohio should strike this August ballot language down, given that it is designed to deceive voters,” added Jen Miller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “Ohio voters have the right to ballot language that is unbiased, thorough, and accurate, so that they can freely and fairly exercise their opinions at the ballot box, especially on an issue as important as this one, which has the potential of drastically curtailing the rights of voters to determine their own futures.”
As cited in the brief, “The language of ballot initiatives must be clear, accurate, and complete in order to enable faithful reflection of the electorate’s desires. This is especially so in the case of Issue 1, where voters will be asked to substantially diminish their own power to ever again amend the Ohio Constitution.”
The ACLU of Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio request that the Ohio Supreme Court strike the language of Issue 1 as currently written as unconstitutional, and direct the Ohio Ballot Board to issue new, lawful language.