Election Commission Approves Petition To Overturn Domestic Partners Ordinance

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Hamilton County Election Commission, after a lengthy discussion, on Wednesday morning approved a petition that a group plans to use to try to overturn the city's new Domestic Partners ordinance.

If the group gets enough signatures over the next two weeks, city voters would decide at an election in August of 2014, whether or not to overturn the controversial ordinance.

Mark West and April Eidson of Citizens for Government Accountability said they are confident they can collect the some 4,500 names needed. 

He said attorney Steve Duggans prepared the petition and submitted it to Mark Goins, the state election coordinator.

Ms. Eidson said teams are being organized to go out and try to get the required number of signatures.

Chairman Mike Walden said he had problems with the commission having to approve the petition just minutes after seeing it for the first time.

Attorney Chris Clem said under state law the commission had 30 days to review the petition. But he said that would have taken the time past the 14 days mentioned in the city charter to get all the names.

Mr. West said his group had learned from mistakes made during a petition drive to recall Mayor Ron Littlefield three years ago.

He told the commission that a number of steps were taken to made the petition follow all the requirements. He said, "We didn't just write this on the back of a napkin."

Mr. West said, "A lot of churches have come out against this. They are going to be a big part of this effort."

At the start of the 9 a.m. meeting, an exasperated chairman Walden called a 30-minute recess. For one thing, he instructed staff to try to reach the city attorney's office for input on the issue.

If the petition is successful and enough names are validated by the Election Commission in two weeks, it apparently will put a stay on putting the domestic partners ordinance into effect.




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