Ohio AG rejects voter access proposal petition

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An effort in Ohio that aims to guarantee certain voter protections in the state constitution has hit a snag.

Attorney-General-2014 Sidd

FILE-In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 file photo shows a steady stream of voters filling the voting booths at Ronald Reagan Lodge in West Chester, Ohio. Ohio Attorney General candidate David Pepper says he would make advocating for voter rights a priority if elected Ohio's top law officer this fall. The Cincinnati Democrat released his proposals Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 for addressing ballot access and election fairness. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

The proposed amendment would expand early voting times on weekends and make other changes to election rules. It is supported by a coalition of black lawmakers, clergy and civil rights leaders.

Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected the petition for the proposed "Ohio Voters Bill of Rights" on Thursday, saying its summary was not a fair and truthful statement of the proposal.

DeWine must certify the summary's phrasing before supporters can continue with their ballot push and eventually collect signatures to get it before voters.

DeWine said he rejected the summary wording because it contained at least two misrepresentations regarding issues where the Ohio Constitution is pre-empted by federal law.