Federal judge dismisses suit over OH ballot issue

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Ohio’s elections chief over a sidelined 2012 ballot issue.

The group Fair Elections Ohio had sought to have voters decide last November whether to reject certain election rules.

State lawmakers repealed the underlying law, and Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) then didn’t consider the issue for the ballot, though it qualified. The group sued for damages and another chance at the ballot.

U.S. District Court Judge George Smith said Wednesday the group failed to show a clearly established right to place a referendum regarding a repealed statute. Smith said Husted acted “rationally and constitutionally.”

A statement from Fair Elections Ohio said it was disappointed and argued the Legislature and elections chief don’t have power to take away the right of referendum.

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