On October 8, the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee passed SB 193 by a vote of 7-4. They voted after a hearing that last two hours and fifteen minutes.
Shortly afterwards, the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23-11. The vote in the Senate was almost a pure party line vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against, except that Republican Senator Kevin Bacon voted against the bill. The bill removes the Constitution, Green, Libertarian, and Socialist Parties from the 2014 ballot. Those four parties were on the ballot in all elections 2008-2013. The bill removes them because none of them polled as much as 3% for either President or Governor in either of the last two elections. In 2010, the Libertarian Party had polled 2.39% for Governor and the Green Party had polled 1.52% for Governor. The other two minor parties had not run for Governor in 2010, although they did run for U.S. Senate in 2010.
The bill requires parties to obtain 55,809 valid signatures by the beginning of July 2014 if they wish to be on the ballot in 2014. It also requires each of their nominees to obtain their own petitions, but none of these nominee petitions would be greater than 50 signatures. The statewide petition would also have a distribution requirement, and would need at least 500 valid signatures in each of half the U.S. House districts.
The bill now goes to the House. Because the bill has an urgency clause, it cannot pass unless it obtains 60% of the members of the House. The House has 60 Republicans and 39 Democrats, so if all Democrats oppose the bill, and even one Republican opposes the bill, the bill will not pass, unless the urgency clause is removed from the bill. The House vote could come as soon as Thursday, October 10.
The Democrats on the committee moved to amend the bill so that only 2,000 signatures, instead of 55,809, would be required on the party petition. The amendment lost, 4-7, with Senator Bacon the only Republican in support of the amendment. UPDATE: here is the Columbus Dispatch article about the bill.