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Ohio school prayer effort sidetracked by flaw

Below is a media release from the Ohio Attorney General's Office regarding its rejection of a petetion for a proposed ammendment to return prayer to public schools:

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COLUMBUS —The Ohio Attorney General's Office Tuesday rejected the petition for the proposed "Amendment to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools" because the petitions contained technical flaws which prevented the submission from being approved.

On April 22nd, the Ohio Attorney General's Office received a written petition from a group called Coalition to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools seeking to amend the Ohio Constitution by adding "The Amendment to Return Prayer to Our Public Schools." The submission was rejected for two reasons: 1) the individual part-petitions signed by various individuals do not contain the language of the proposed constitutional amendment and its summary, and 2) the individual part-petitions do not contain the signature of a circulator, signed under penalty of election falsification attesting to witnessing the number of individuals the circulator saw sign the part-petitions.

Petition signatures were not reviewed because of the petition deficiencies requiring the Attorney General to reject the submission.

Initiative petitions are many times rejected for technical reasons related to the petitions or summary language. The Ohio Attorney General's Office sends petitioners a letter outlining how they can correct deficiencies and be compliant with Ohio law.

In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio's 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of president at the last presidential election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of president at the last presidential election.

The full text of today's letter and of the initiative petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives

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