Return to News Jun 12, 2023

After Legal Challenge, Ohio Supreme Court Orders Secretary LaRose, Ballot Board to Correct Misleading, Inaccurate Ballot Language

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the result of a legal challenge that Elias Law Group attorneys filed last month on behalf of several Ohio voters and One Person One Vote, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that the Ohio Ballot Board and Secretary of State Frank LaRose must rewrite both the title and language of a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution before it can be submitted to voters for consideration.

In today’s ruling, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected inaccurate and misleading ballot language proposed by Secretary LaRose and the Ballot Board, and ordered them to adopt new language that accurately describes the proposed amendment. In the 17-page opinion, the Court also found that Secretary LaRose’s proposed title was “likely to mislead voters” and could give voters a “false impression” of the scope of the proposed amendment.

The proposed amendment would drastically revise the requirements that citizens must meet to successfully amend the state constitution and is currently slated to be submitted to Ohio voters for approval in an August 8 special election.

“Secretary LaRose and the Ohio Ballot Board tried to trick Ohioans into voting away the direct democracy rights they have enjoyed for over a century,” said Elias Law Group counsel Emma Olson Sharkey. “The Ohio Supreme Court saw through this ploy. It is time for them to start being honest about this amendment.”

One Person One Vote is a citizen-driven grassroots coalition dedicated to preserving majority rule in Ohio by protecting the direct democracy rights that Ohio voters have been guaranteed for over 100 years. In the lawsuit filed last month, One Person One Vote argued that the ballot title and language were full of material omissions and misleading statements that are part of a calculated effort to deceive Ohio voters, so that they may agree to vote away their direct democracy rights. Elias Law Group is also representing One Person One Vote and Ohio voters in a separate lawsuit filed earlier this month to challenge the legality of the August special election at which the Secretary intends to submit the amendment to the voters. As of this morning, that challenge has not yet been resolved.

Elias Law Group attorneys David Fox, Emma Olson Sharkey, Jyoti Jasrasaria, and Samuel Ward-Packard contributed to this case.