Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ohio Voters Sue Secretary of State to Restore County Charter Petitions Addressing Hydraulic Fracturing

On August 19, 2015, a group of voters from Athens, Fulton and Medina counties filed an appeal against the Ohio Secretary of State’s ruling that invalidated three proposed county charter petitions. Those petitions were aimed at attempting to extend local regulatory authority over hydraulic fracturing within the counties’ limits. Ohio Secretary of State, Jon Husted, concluded that “state law preempts any authority to regulate ‘fracking’ by political subdivisions of the state, including charter counties.”

The voters seek a mandamus in the Ohio Supreme Court to compel the Secretary of State to comply with the requirements specified in section 307.95 of the Ohio Revised Code, and the Constitution of the state of Ohio. They also ask the Court to reintroduce the three petitions in the November 2015 election ballots. 

Said voters contended that the Secretary of State’s objection against the petitions is “unconstitutional, arbitrary, illegal and an abuse of his legal authority” alleging that “[r]espondent Secretary of State is forbidden by pertinent constitutional principles from arrogating to himself the power to peremptorily “invalidate” the three Petitions because of his particular quibbles over their content and legality.”

This is an update of an original post dated August 17, 2015. 

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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