University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Ohioans for Raising the Wage v. Larose VR-OH-0083
Docket / Court 20-CV-002381 ( State Court )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 summary: On March 30, members of Ohioans for Raising the Wage filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction against the Ohio Secretary of State. The plaintiffs sought to suspend the required number of signatures required to qualify for the ballot in Ohio. The motion for ... read more >
COVID-19 summary: On March 30, members of Ohioans for Raising the Wage filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction against the Ohio Secretary of State. The plaintiffs sought to suspend the required number of signatures required to qualify for the ballot in Ohio. The motion for preliminary injunction was denied on April 28, and the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case the next day.


On March 30, members of Ohioans for Raising the Wage, a ballot issue committee in support of a petition effort for the passage of a constitutional amendment to raise wages to $13 per hour by 2025 in Ohio, filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction against the Ohio Secretary of State, Frank Larose.

The group had collected 73,968 signatures for the petition as of March 12, the date an order prohibiting large gatherings was issued. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced the number of signatures they were able to collect. Therefore, the plaintiffs argued that the requirements were “unduly burdensome . . . in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis” and therefore violated the Ohio constitutional rights rights of speech, association and ballot access.

Represented by private attorneys, the plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief under state law. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought to suspend the required number of signatures, which was 442,958 statewide or 10% of total votes, to 6% of the number of electors that voted in the 2018 gubernatorial elections, which amounts to 265,774 signatures. They also sought to extend the deadline to submit the signatures from July 1 to August 21. The case was assigned to Judge David C. Young.

On March 31, the Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections sought to intervene as plaintiffs in the case, represented by the American Civil Liberties Foundation and the ACLU of Ohio. The same day, they filed an intervenor’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

The defendant moved to dismiss the case on April 27.

On April 28, the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction was denied. Judge David C. Young found that despite the unique situation presented, the “constitutional language does not include an exception for extraordinary circumstances or public health emergencies.” On April 29, the plaintiff filed a voluntary dismissal and on April 30, the intervening plaintiffs also voluntarily dismissed the case.

Averyn Lee - 06/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Voting
Challenges to at-large/multimember district/election
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Ohio Secretary of State
Plaintiff Description Members of the Ohioans for Raising the Wage, a ballot issue committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 03/30/2020
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
20-CV-002381 (State Trial Court)
VR-OH-0083-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint for Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief
VR-OH-0083-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: State Court Website
Affidavit of Christopher Gallaway
VR-OH-0083-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: State Court Website
Motion for a Preliminary Injunction
VR-OH-0083-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/30/2020
Source: State Court Website
Motion to Intervene
VR-OH-0083-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2020
Source: State Court Website
Intervenors' Motion for Preliminary Injunction
VR-OH-0083-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2020
Source: State Court Website
Motion to Dismiss Intervenors' and Plaintiffs' Complaints of Defendant Ohio Secretary of State Frank Larose
VR-OH-0083-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2020
Source: State Court Website
Decision and Entry
VR-OH-0083-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2020
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Judges Young, David C. Court not on record show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0007 | VR-OH-0083-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonham, Elizabeth (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0002 | VR-OH-0083-0006
Carey, David J. (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0002 | VR-OH-0083-0006
Clinger, Derek S (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0001 | VR-OH-0083-0005
Colombo, J. Corey (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0001 | VR-OH-0083-0005
Ho, Dale E. (New York) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0002 | VR-OH-0083-0006
Levenson, Freda J. (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0002 | VR-OH-0083-0006
McTigue, Donald Joseph (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0001 | VR-OH-0083-0005 | VR-OH-0083-9000
Thomas-Lundborg, Alora (New York) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0002 | VR-OH-0083-0006
Wallace, Ben F.C. (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0001 | VR-OH-0083-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Seskes, Brandi Laser (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0003
Staff, Renata Y (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0003 | VR-OH-0083-9000
Yost, Dave (Ohio) show/hide docs
VR-OH-0083-0003

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