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.

  • SlapFat

    This is essentially what Husted and state congressional GOP have been up to in the past year: tweaking electoral processes that neither the press nor the public are following in substantial capacity. And they cackle about “fairness” and “uniformity” the entire time they write these new restrictions.

    It’s extremely obnoxious and wrong.

  • anastasjoy

    I completely opposed this bill as a block to fair elections. But now I will support it and call my representative to urge her to do so, even though I know she won’t. Anything that could keep Dennis Spisak off the ballot is a good thing. Chickens are coming home to roost, Spisak. Thanks SO much for all your hard work campaigning for Kasich. The endless stream of vicious attacks on Ted Strickland were SO helpful! Thanks to you, I wouldn’t vote for a Green if all the other candidates on the ballot were serial killers or Ted Cruz clones.

  • missskeptic

    I guess Husted’s vision of fair redistricting has gone buh-bye for now. He is really pushing for this crappy bill. This is nothing more than a ploy to oust the Libertarians from the ticket and gain 1 percentage point over the Dems in 2014. Anasta, I don’t disagree with you that karma is a bitch when she’s biting you in the butt, but fair elections should be fair to all.

  • joeblock

    I agree, the green’s need to pick better candidates.

  • I personally reached out to Dennis when I heard about this issue and asked him to write this guest post.

    Believe me, @anastasjoy:disqus, I understand your frustration. Plunderbund was one of the biggest critics of Dennis’s 2010 campaign.

    But I’d never argue that the Green Party, or any other “minor party”, should be excluded from the ballot or that any candidate should have his or her voice silenced.

  • I’d also add, that from a purely mathematical perspective, Libertarian Candidate Ken Matesz pulled nearly twice as many votes away from Kasich as Dennis did from Strickland,

  • anastasjoy

    Oh, I don’t think he had much of a role in Strickland’s defeat — a fraction as much as, say, Jennifer Garrison did. But his behavior was so childish and unbecoming to a serious candidate that he made it hard to take anything about the Green Party seriously anymore. And in a difficult, very close campaign, his hectoring was not appreciated.

  • anastasjoy

    I do have respect for Bob Fitrakis, who was their candidate in 2006. He can get a little out there at times, but he isn’t getting into flame wars on blogs.

  • AlexanderHagen

    This must be unconstitutional, to have different rules for different parties. Disgusting.

  • Eric

    I’m voting for any democrat (or any other political party candidate) rather than Kasich.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!