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WYSO's coverage of the 2011 Election

Ohio Ballot Board Rewrites Issue 3 Following High Court Decision

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The Ohio Ballot Board has approved new language for Issue 3 that voters will see on their ballots.

Ohio’s Supreme Court told the Ballot Board it needed to clean up some of the wording for the legalized pot issue voters would see this fall. A former Republican justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Andy Douglas, says the court is right in making this unusual call for the language to be corrected.

“This was so obvious and it was the only reason I got involved in the case. It was pretty clear what they had done, in my judgment, was intentional.  It could not have been inadvertent or by mistake, given what they had submitted, place side by side, you couldn’t arrive there inadvertently,” Douglas said.

But Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has spoken out against issue 3, contends the language is fair and always was. He says he’s glad the court allowed him to keep the word, monopoly, in the title of the summary language.

“It is a monopoly. It needed to be described as such so that the voters have a clear understanding of the choice that is before them," Husted said. "That was the more important issue to me because there was an effort to try to conceal that fact from the voters and I wanted to enlighten it, to try to shine a light on the fact that it is, indeed, a monopoly.”

In the high court's decision last week, it ordered the Ohio Ballot Board to reconvene and replace sections about where retail stores can open, the amount of marijuana the initiative allows and the mechanism for adding growing facilities.