Husted discusses cost of state ballot measures

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February 29, 2012

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Speaking at an Associated Press political forum, Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) noted that each state ballot measure costs Ohio taxpayers upwards of one million dollars. Husted was speaking in reference to an effort to repeal HB 194 and avert a referendum against the law.[1][2]

Ohio is one of several initiative and referendum states that require state elections officials to publish information about ballot issues. In Ohio, the state is required to publish each measure in full once a week for the three weeks leading up to the election. These publications must be made in several papers around the state.[3]

Since referendums often challenge lengthy pieces of legislation, the state is forced to purchase a significant amount of space in these newspapers. The Ohio SB5 referendum, for example, cost an estimated $2.1 million to print and publish. The bill required 57 pages of newsprint and was reprinted 5 million times. Fact checkers, however, have urged caution on Husted's statement, noting that citizen initiatives are typically much shorter and cost less than referendums.[4]

Husted discusses the HB 194 referendum

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