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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Secretary of State Jon Husted's Attorneys Call for Complaint Against Him to Be Dismissed

From the Akron Beacon Journal:
Ohio's elections chief acted properly in invalidating pipeline and injection well ballot issues in three counties and a complaint against him should be dismissed, his attorneys told the state Supreme Court in a Friday filing.

Residents in Fulton, Medina and Athens counties are challenging Secretary of State Jon Husted's move. They told the state's high court earlier this week Husted was supposed to decide the validity of their petitions, not the merits of the "community rights county charters" they proposed. 
The charters call for restricting development projects related to the gas-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. County commissioners and others filed protests with the secretary of state's office, saying the charters would leave counties without authorized forms of government. Husted ruled in the protesters' favor. 
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund helped the residents craft the ballot proposals and filed a suit. 
The plaintiffs told justices that adopting a county charter is one legal means available for changing county government, while establishing a legal alternative government form like that referenced by commissioners is another. 
Husted has said the charter proposals improperly sought to circumvent state law in a way that courts have ruled violates the Ohio constitution.
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