In response to today’s announcement that opponents of House Bill 194 had filed 318,460 signatures to place the Republican voter suppression initiative on the 2012 ballot for repeal, Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement:

“Today’s announcement of the filing of 318,460 signatures for the repeal of HB 194 is a loud and clear  message to the Governor and the Republicans in the Ohio State Legislature. These attacks are anti-American because they suppress our most fundamental right as Americans: the right to vote,” Ryan said. “It is an insult to all the men and women of our Armed Forces, and their families. They all sacrificed, and many died, to protect and defend our right to fully participate in our government through the ballot box. And now in a blatant political power grab, the Republican leaders ignore this sacrifice in an pathetic and disgusting attempt to gain some political advantage. If HB 194 were to become law, it would invalidate more peoples’ ballots and make it harder for students, seniors, and others to vote and take part in our democracy. Is this really what we want? Less participation? Less engagement in the public discourse? Less influence over our leaders? “

“It’s sad that our leaders in Columbus have ignored the historic opposition these past 9 months to their unfair, partisan politics. Instead, Ohio voters have been forced to stand up to take matters into their own hands, first placing SB 5 (Issue 2) on the ballot for repeal, and now HB 194, too. The Republican leaders in Columbus should spend more time creating jobs for our state and less time screwing around and trying to limit long established fundamental rights that many people have fought and died for. “