Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro
Press Release on Elections Issues
Oct. 29, 2004
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Statement of Attorney General Jim Petro on Elections Issue

October 29, 2004

The following statement may be attributed to Attorney General Jim Petro:

“I share the Secretary of State’s belief that the upcoming election be conducted in a manner as open and accessible as possible and that the result must be free from any fraud or misconduct. Over the last few days, some of the longstanding laws by which Ohio conducts elections have been challenged, including the law that allows citizens to act as challengers at the polls on Election Day. As Attorney General, I have a constitutional obligation to defend Ohio’s laws when they are attacked.

“I express no view of whether it is right or wrong for any political party, candidate, or issue proponent or opponent to have challengers at the polls on Election Day. Certainly, no challenger should engage in conduct that is obviously intended to harass or discourage any lawfully registered voter from exercising his or her right to vote. However, until the law is finally declared to be unconstitutional, it is a valid law granting Ohio’s citizens the right to be challengers if they have followed the proper procedure to do so.

“Neither the Secretary of State nor I can negotiate away the legal rights of Ohio’s citizens. Thus, I cannot submit to the federal courts the Secretary’s unlawful proposal to ban all challengers for all parties, candidates or issues on Election Day.”
For Additional Information on this Press Release:
CONTACT: Kim Norris, Attorney General’s Office, at (614) 644-0576

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