Proposed change to Ohio Constitution on Presidential election and Electorial College certified

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has certified a summary of a petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution. The proposed amendment would change the way Ohio’s Electoral College members vote in presidential elections. An alternative summary for the same proposed amendment was rejected.

The attorney general’s role is to determine whether the summary is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed constitutional amendment. Petitioners have submitted two petitions with different summaries, each supported with the requisite 1,000 valid signatures from registered Ohio voters. This is an unusual tactic, and perhaps the first time it has been used.

“Both summaries accurately restated the proposed amendment; but only the first is both fair and truthful,” said Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “The second summary fails to note the most important piece of information for the voter: that the amendment, if adopted, could require Ohio’s representatives in the Electoral College to vote for the winner of the national presidential popular vote rather than for the winner of Ohio’s presidential popular vote.”

The first summary is certified; the second is not.

“The second summary fails to note the most important piece of information for the voter: that the amendment, if adopted, could require Ohio’s representatives in the Electoral College to vote for the winner of the national presidential popular vote rather than for the winner of Ohio’s presidential popular vote.” – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Once the summary language is certified by the attorney general’s office and the initial signatures are verified by the county boards of elections, the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.

An effort has been underway in various states to eliminate the Electorial College and change the way the country chooses a president.

The full text of letters to petitioners and the amendment petitions can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.