On June 29, 2011, opponents of Ohio Senate Bill 5 filed signed petitions with the Ohio Secretary of State. The signed petitions seek a spot on the November 2011 ballot for a referendum that would prevent SB 5 from going into effect. The petitions reportedly contain the signatures of 1,298,301 voters. A total of 3,852,453 Ohioans voted in the November 2010 election for governor.
Ohio law required signatures equal to at least 6% of the total votes cast in the 2010 election for governor. The petitions represent 33.7% of that total. Thus, even if only a portion of the signatures on the petition are verified, a process that must be completed by July 26, 2011, it is still likely that opponents have submitted the required number of signatures to have the question placed on the Fall ballot.
For the labor professional, the most significant part of this development is its impact on the effective date of SB 5. Assuming that a sufficient number of signatures are verified, the effective date of the legislation will be delayed until after the general election in November.