News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron Children's Hospital

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics

Bill tightens rules for minor parties to be on Ohio's ballot
The Ohio Senate passed a bill that mandates standards for minor parties to be officially recognized on Ohio ballots

Jo Ingles
Minor parties suspect the bill limiting their access to the ballot is an attempt to shut down a Libertarian challenge to Gov. Kasich.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A bill that leaders of minor parties criticize for making it harder to for them to be recognized has passed the Ohio Senate.

Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports that opponents say the fight over the bill is just beginning.

LISTEN: Ending the 'Wild West' of minor parties?

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:36)

The bill would spell out rules and thresholds that minor parties must meet in order to be officially recognized as a party on the Ohio ballot. Republican State Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati says a previous law on minor party recognition was overturned by a federal court in 2006. So he says it’s high time lawmakers set new standards.

"Both (former) Secretary of State Brunner and Secretary of State Husted have had no law to enforce. This has resulted in defacto recognition without any requirement of qualification for those minor parties that were in existence at the time of the 2006 federal court decision.

"Obviously, if you are in those minor parties, you probably would like that current lawless state of affairs to continue because you get to stay on the ballot without demonstrating any modicum of support."

The magic number
Seitz’s bill would require a minor party to get about 56,000 voter signatures to be recognized as a party. And once it is recognized as such, its candidates would still have to get additional signatures to get on the ballot. The Republican and Democratic parties would not have to go through the process because they got enough votes for their presidential candidates in 2012.

Bob Fitrakis, co-chairman of the Green Party, insists, "This bill is about one thing – making it very easy for John Kasich to win re-election."

He maintains majority Republicans are “afraid democracy is going to break out in this state.”

Protecting Kasich from the Libertarians?
"You know we are really collateral damage as the Green Party. They are really going after the Libertarian Party because of its ties to the tea party and some of the issues (they oppose) that the governor has taken a stance on."

The Libertarian who wants to take on Gov. Kasich agrees.

"Maybe I’m being paranoid but I suspect it was all to favor John Kasich because he knows with us in the race, his chances for re-election and the ultimate run for the presidency has been jeopardized," says Charlie Earl. "Let me tell you – it still is."

Earl says candidates in his party have been gathering petition signatures to get on the ballot,  under current rules. And he says this legislation changes the rules at the last minute, making it nearly impossible for Libertarian candidates to comply. Earl says Seitz is "a tool of the governor and he showed it every second he was up there on the bench.

Claims of toadie and a lawsuit
"For someone who claimed the power of the legislative over the executive and overcoming the Secretary of State’s directives, he actually played the toadie for the governor in this event. So I hope he’s happy and they can live with it because we are coming after them – hammer and tongs."

Earl says his party will sue as soon as the bill is signed into law because it doesn’t give minor parties and their candidates enough time to comply. Seitz is not deterred. He says there’s no reason to pass a proposed amendment that would have delayed implementation of this bill for a year.

"To do what the amendment seeks would be to delay any correction for yet another year. Another year of wild, wild west. Another year of secretary of state fiat."

The Ohio Senate passed the bill 22 to 11, with Republicans voting for it and Democrats voting against it. It now goes to the Ohio House.

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University