Keep Jail Downtown, Lake Erie Bill Of Rights Denied For November Ballot

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Lucas County Board of Elections voted Tuesday to keep two initiatives off of the November ballot. 

WTOL 11 reports the Keep the Jail Downtown and Lake Erie Bill of Rights initiatives were denied a place on the November ballot at Tuesday's Board meeting. Both fell in unanimous votes. 

The Lucas County Board of Election cited Supreme Court case law in their decisions, pointing to language in both initiatives that would allow private citizens to sue anyone violating the initiatives. The board said that violated the scope of what initiatives were allowed to do. 

Toledoans for Safe Water, the sponsors of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, called the Board's vote a shameful attempt to encroach on the citizen's right to vote on citizen initiatives. 

“The actions of the Lucas County BOE are shameful, and reveal the sham that we call a democracy. When four members can strip the rights of 314,000 registered voters to cast a ballot on the people’s initiative – that’s called an oligarchy,” Markie Miller, a co-founder and leader of the grassroots organization said in a statement.

The group says they will appeal the Board's decision. Groups behind both initiatives turned in petitions with more than 10,000 signatures each, which was more than enough to qualify for the ballot. 

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