FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 13, 2015
SECRETARY HUSTED REMOVES FRACKING CHARTER PROPOSALS FROM BALLOT IN ATHENS, FULTON AND MEDINA COUNTIES
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today ruled on protests filed with his office that questioned the validity of county charter ballot proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina Counties. In all three counties, the Secretary upheld the protests by invalidating the charter proposals and certifying that they would not receive a place on the November 3, 2015 General Election ballot.
As part of his decision, the Secretary found that the proposed provisions in each of the charters relating to oil and gas exploration represented an attempt to circumvent state law in a manner the courts have already found to be in violation of the Ohio Constitution.
“The issue of whether local communities can get around state laws on fracking has already been litigated,” Secretary Husted said. “Allowing these proposals to proceed will only serve a false promise that wastes taxpayer's time and money and will eventually end in sending the charters to certain death in the courts.”
Under the Ohio Revised Code, the Secretary, in his role as the chief elections officer, is required to determine the validity of both the proposal and the petitions submitted and rule on whether or not the petition should qualify for the ballot.
Furthermore, the Secretary insisted that the proposed ballot initiatives fail to properly establish an “alternative form of county government” as prescribed by Section 301 and 302 of the Ohio Revised Code.
“Having carefully reviewed the law, court decisions and the materials submitted in connection with the protests, I find that the… petitions violate… provisions of statutory and Ohio constitutional law,” wrote the Secretary.
A copy of the Secretary’s decision has been transmitted to the Commissioners and Board of Elections members in each county.
Secretary Husted’s Letter (PDF)
For more information, please contact Joshua Eck at (614) 466-2729