SB 193: John Kasich’s Re-Election Protection Bill
by Dennis Spisak, 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor

Ohio’s Republicans have been in a hurry to pass SB193, introduced by Republican State Senator Bill Seitz, to provide election law for so-called “minor” parties in Ohio.  The bill passed out of the Senate two weeks ago and the House is planning to hold hearings this week.    SB 193 would change Ohio election rules for minor parties nine months into a two-year election cycle—but rules for Republicans and Democrats would remain the same.

SB 193 would remove minor party access to the 2014 ballot immediately, erasing the months of work candidates have already put in organizing the campaigns and collecting signatures to get on the ballot.

SB 193 would erase the party registrations of thousands of Ohioans who voted for minor party candidates in 2010 and 2012 and severely restrict any chances any minor party would have to participate in future elections.  This bill would punish minor party candidates and supporters.

As the Green Party candidate for Governor on 2010, I received 58,475 people votes for governor. In just 12 Ohio counties the bill will be disenfranchising 1,363 registered Greens. In 2012, in just three of Ohio’s 16 Congressional districts, 26,071 Ohioans voted Green, including 6388 in Franklin County’s third district and 13,038 (3.84% of the vote) in the 14th Congressional district.

SB 193 would require minor parties to gather at least 60,000 valid signatures to be on the ballot for state-wide office. Republicans and Democrats would still only be required to obtain 1,000 valid signatures to place a candidate on the ballot for any statewide office.

Clearly the timing of this bill and rush to be enacted is an attempt by Gov. Kasich to deny conservative voters in Ohio from supporting the Libertarian candidate for governor, Charles Earl.  Kasich and the GOP are fearful of Earl attracting support and votes from conservatives who view Kasich as a governor who has miserably failed the state of Ohio and betrayed millions of fiscal conservatives who expected him to follow Ohio law and oppose Obamacare.

Ohio is not the safe red state Gov. Kasich and the GOP once believed back in 2010. Kasich knows he needs all the help he can get in 2014. Removing conservative minor parties is his first step.