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Published: Wednesday, 10/12/2011

Ohio elections chief refuses U.S. House map petition

Redistricting not subject to referendum, Husted says

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s elections chief has refused to accept 1,000-plus signatures submitted by Democrats trying to get a repeal issue on the state’s new congressional map on next year’s ballot.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, says the redistricting legislation laying out the new U.S. House districts contained an appropriation and took effect immediately, so it isn’t subject to referendum.

Democrats say this bolsters their legal standing before the Ohio Supreme Court. They have a case pending there arguing the maneuver by Republicans to add the spending component to the bill shouldn’t block it from a ballot challenge.

The lawsuit cites a 2009 case where the high court said an effort to legalize racetrack slots was subject to repeal despite being included in the appropriation-laden state budget.



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