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Third-party ballot rules clear Ohio House panel

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio House panel dialed back proposed requirements for minor political parties amid concerns that they would obstruct the parties' access to the ballot and create hurdles for candidates.

The committee changed the measure Wednesday before passing it.

The bill would now require minor parties to gather petition signatures from at least a half percent of the total vote cast in the most recent election for governor or president. That's down from 1 percent and roughly 28,000 signatures using last year's numbers.

To remain a qualified political party, groups must get 2 percent, not 3 percent, of the total votes cast in the following gubernatorial or presidential election.

The full House could vote as soon as Wednesday afternoon. The Senate previously passed it, but would have to approve the changes.

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