CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost spoke Monday on recent reports of intimidation aimed at petitioners.
“This is not open season on circulators,” Yost said.
Yost emphasized that it is illegal for “petition blockers” to get in the way of people getting to solicitors.
The press conference comes after multiple reports of harassment aimed at petitioners, including an incident documented by the Columbus Dispatch.
A man gathering signatures opposing House Bill 6, which would provide bailout to two of Ohio’s nuclear power plants, said he was assaulted by a woman outside of a Columbus-area library.
Yost also said that there have been cases involving multiple blockers surrounding people attempting to get signatures.
The attorney general did not want to minimize of the importance of the First Amendment, but said it is against the law to keep someone from signing a petition.
“That right ends when intimidation or coercion begins,” Yost said.
If anybody witnesses petition intimidation, Yost recommended making a call to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to begin an investigation. The number is 1-800-282-0515.