Republicans ban minor parties in Ohio: Battle on to repeal law
August 11, 2011

Ohio Secretary of State John Husted has banned all minor political parties in Ohio from the ballot. In an August 5, 2011 letter written to the Libertarian Party of Ohio, Husted made it clear that his interpretation of the draconian Ohio House Bill 194, passed by the Republican-dominated legislature, means that all minor parties have lost their official statewide party status effective September 30, 2011.

In a bizarre twist, Husted wrote that the bill “…included laws related to the requirements minor parties will have to satisfy in order to gain ballot access.”

In Husted’s reading of HB 194, the Libertarian, Green, Socialist and Constitution Parties that have been on the ballot since the 2008 election will have to start over to gain ballot access that they already held under a federal court ruling. In a similar situation, then-Secretary of State Ted Brown left minor parties on the ballot in 1970 and 1972 rather than revoking their ballot access due to a new election law.

In 2006, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found the qualifications for minor parties too restrictive and the Ohio election law was declared unconstitutional. One provision in the bill struck down by the 6th Circuit held that minor parties had to file in November of the year before the election. HB 194 moved this petition filing deadline to early February of the election year for minor parties.

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