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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Image via Flickr/ Ohio Republicans.

Fracking foes say Ohio elections chief exceeds his authority

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Residents in three Ohio counties where Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted) invalidated anti-fracking ballot issues this fall are arguing that voters, not the elections chief, should decide the substance of such issues.

In a filing Tuesday, residents in Fulton, Medina (meh-DY’-nuh) and Athens counties tell the Ohio Supreme Court that Husted was supposed to decide the validity of their petitions, not the merits of the “community rights county charters” they proposed.

Husted’s office says his action was “fully rooted in Ohio law.”

The charters call for restricting development projects related to the gas-drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. County commissioners and others filed protests saying the charters would leave counties without an authorized form of government.

Husted’s ruling said the proposals improperly sought to circumvent state law.

In related news, Ohio counties can’t vote to ban fracking, Husted rules.

This article was written by Julie Carr Smyth from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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