Ohio Secretary of State candidates want more scrutiny for ballot wording
By Kyle Maichle
Democrat candidate Maryellen O'Shaughnessy said that she would support a system of review to ensure the wording of local measures meets state standards. O'Shaughnessy said that she would not support a system that would infringe upon the home rule rights on local governments. Republican candidate Jon Husted said that he would give local governments a template that carries the standard ballot language in order to help local measures meet state standards. The Republican candidate told the Columbus Post-Dispatch that "the language has to be clear and truthful" for all local measures.
The same newspaper conducted a study on 881 local ballot measures since 2005. The study revealed that most local measures fail to meet the state standard for proper wording. Also, 20 local measures were found to not have a mandatory statement describing the effects of voting yes or no on the measure.
Most local ballot measures are worded by the sponsors of the measure. All statewide ballot measure wording is determined by a five person bi-partisan board.