Ohio elections chief appeals in minor parties suit

By By JULIE CARR SMYTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's elections chief has appealed a federal judge's decision to block newly imposed limits on ballot access for minor parties.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Watson's injunction issued Tuesday was widely viewed as increasing the chances that Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) will face a third-party opponent in this fall's election.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO'-sted) and the state appealed Friday. Spokesman Matt McClellan says Husted seeks to clarify how Watson wants him to proceed. Watson called for reverting to third-party rules set by a 2013 Husted directive, but that directive has expired.

Watson's ruling was a victory for Ohio Libertarians, who challenged the constitutionality of a law establishing criteria for qualifying as a political party and maintaining ballot status. Ohio's old rules were found unconstitutional in 2006.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.