Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today transmitted the initiated statute known as the “Drug Price Relief Act” to the leaders of the Ohio General Assembly.

In order to bring the issue before the General Assembly for consideration, petitioners needed 91,677 valid signatures, a number equal to three percent of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, 2014. They also needed to collect signatures equaling 1.5% of the total vote cast in the most recent gubernatorial election within at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

After receiving a report that a large number of part petitions contained potentially illegal redaction of voters’ signatures, Secretary Husted ordered the county boards of elections to conduct a second review. State law allows a voters’ signature on a petition to be removed only by the voter or the circulator of the part petition.

Several boards of elections across Ohio conducted hearings and received testimony to decipher the validity of the petition. Boards who conducted investigations found many petitions that were handled in a manner contrary to Ohio election law. Some of this evidence is presented in the letter to the General Assembly’s leadership, which is available below.

“I received a complaint that this petition drive was not conducted in accordance with Ohio law, I returned them to the boards of elections for further investigation and boards that investigated properly found evidence that Ohio laws were indeed violated,” Secretary Husted said. “While this evidence leads me to believe there may have been greater issues, I must make a decision based on the facts before me now.”

Secretary Husted, in accordance with testimony offered before the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, ordered 35,753 signatures from that county to be invalidated due to the legal flaws in the petition gathering. This results in a remaining 96,936 signatures statewide.

Pursuant to Article II, Section 1b of the Ohio Constitution, the Secretary transmitted the proposed statute to the leaders of the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate for their consideration.

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